EC announces poll schedule in five states; May 19 is Decision Day

Election schedule for Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry was announced today by the Election Commission

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 18, 2016 11:02 am
elections, kerala election, bengal election, pondicherry election, puducherry election, assam election, poll dates, election dates, election news, state elections, india news Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announces the polls dates, in New Delhi Friday. (PTI Photo)

The Election Commission Friday threw open the biggest political arena of 2016 by announcing that Assembly polls in five states — Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry— will be held between April 4 and May 16 with counting of votes on May 19.

Assam will go to polls in two phases on April 4 and 11 while elections in West Bengal will be held in six phases, on April 4 and 11 (under Phase-I), 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5. The two-stage first phase in West Bengal covers Left-Wing Extremism-affected areas.

Watch Video | State Elections 2016: The Schedule

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, with 126, 140, and 234 constituencies respectively, will vote on the same day in a single phase election on May 16, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said at the ECI headquarters Friday.

West Bengal has 294 seats while Puducherry has 30.

A total of 824 Assembly constituencies will be covered with the participation of over 16.98 crore registered voters over a month while the results for all will be announced on May 19.

Map loading… (Click here)

All the five are non-BJP-ruled states with regional parties incumbent in three of them. Two, Assam and Kerala, have the Congress in power. The elections are also viewed as a test for the BJP to make a mark in the unfamiliar territories after the recent drubbing in Bihar.

With this announcement, the Model Code of Conduct also comes into effect immediately.

West Bengal will also witness the inclusion of new voters in the border regions of the northern part who have become Indian citizens following the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh.

“The last phase of West Bengal elections has been kept for the Cooch Behar district where 16,000 people have become Indian citizens after the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh and are eligible to vote. They will be included in the electoral rolls for the first time,” Zaidi said.

It has been kept for the last phase because all the related exercises, such as delimitation, preparation of voters’ lists, distribution of electoral cards, etc., will have concluded by then.

India got 51 enclaves from Bangladesh on July 31, last year in exchange of 111 enclaves. Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda tweeted in the morning that the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill would come into effect from March 4. The bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament last week without debate. This allows the ECI to enrol the new citizens as voters.

For first time, the ECI has approved a special symbol for None of The Above or NOTA option designed by the National Institute of Design, which is being incorporated in the Electronic Voting Machines.

While not disclosing the details of security deployment for free and fair conduct of the elections, Zaidi confirmed that the deployment will be more than last time.

“All booths will have seven basic facilities and there will also be all-women polling booths. Mobile squads will have GPS-fitted vehicles and be accompanied by central forces to ensure that they quickly attend to complaints,” he said.

The job of conducting the elections in these states has become a bigger exercise since 2011 as the states have seen a marked increase in the number of polling stations.

Assam has 24,888 polling stations, an increase of 4.5 per cent, West Bengal has 77,247 polling booths— up by a whopping 48.7 per cent, Kerala has 21,498, up by 3.5 per cent, Tamil Nadu has 65,616— a 21.5 per cent increase while in Puducherry, the increase has been by 12 per cent to 913 polling stations.

The number of voters have also seen a marked increase: Assam now has 1,98,66,496 voters; West Bengal 6,55,46,101; Kerala 2,56,08,720; Tamil Nadu 5,79,15,075; while Puducherry has 9,27,034 voters.

READ FULL SCHEDULE

The dates are as below:

Assam poll dates

1st phase – 65 constituencies
Date of polling – April 4

2nd phase – 61 constituencies
Date of polling – April 11

West Bengal poll dates

1st phase – 18 constituencies

Polling days – April 4, 11

2nd phase – 56 constituencies

Polling day – April 17

3rd phase – 62 constituencies

Polling day – April 21

4th phase – 49 constituencies

Polling day – April 25

5th phase – 53 constituencies

Polling day – April 30

6th phase – 25 constituencies

Polling day – May 5

Kerala – 1 phase (140 constituencies)

Polling day – May 16

Tamil Nadu – 1 phase (234 constituencies)

Polling day – May 16

Puducherry – 1 phase (30 constituencies)

Polling day – May 16

Counting day – May 19

 

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  1. A
    Antony
    May 4, 2016 at 4:33 am
    It is better for states to keep BJP at bay. Modi is doing nothing except mere talks. someone rightly synonym Modi as FEKU.
    Reply
    1. A
      arun
      May 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm
      S Ashok lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Bengal schedule looks like a cricket match itinerary, with week long breaks. Why should it take such a long time to conduct elections in a small state like West Bengal. In contrast Tamilnadu,Kerala rightfully have a 1 day election.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;** you have no idea i think. there are 294 seats in that west bengal compare to other state it is more.
      Reply
      1. T
        T DUTTA
        Mar 5, 2016 at 1:58 am
        CRICKET LOVERS IN CALCUTTA ARE VERY HAPPY THAT ELECTIONS WOULD START AFTER THE WORLD CUP FINAL---IN FACT ELECTIONS TO CONSUENCIES IN CALCUTTA SURROUNDING THE EDEN GARDENS WILL BE HELD MUCH LATER
        Reply
        1. T
          Tara
          Mar 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm
          bas*ta*rd janitor party will loose in all 5 states, the seed of hatred that this party has sown will be the cause of it's death.
          Reply
          1. B
            BharatK
            Mar 4, 2016 at 10:23 am
            Make it more longer, at least one-year span. This is how EC enjoy their power. We need efficient EC, who can conduct election 1-3 days for such 5 states election.
            Reply
            1. R
              Rohan
              Mar 4, 2016 at 10:30 am
              Where states are as big as countries we don't need speed in conducting elections.. conducting Free and fair elections are more important and EC is doing wonderful job.
              Reply
              1. S
                S ashok
                Mar 5, 2016 at 7:26 am
                The Bengal schedule looks like a cricket match itinerary, with week long breaks. Why should it take such a long time to conduct elections in a small state like West Bengal. In contrast Tamilnadu,Kerala rightfully have a 1 day election.
                Reply
                1. S
                  srinivasan
                  Mar 4, 2016 at 10:40 am
                  why there is a gap of more than one month between ist phase in am and one dayin TN/Kerala. can it not be held in april itself and all results announced in just two days
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    s s nair
                    Mar 5, 2016 at 12:38 am
                    To Modi the w India has become anti national. Let us face him by gifting him a big defeat worse than Delhi and Bihar.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      Prateik
                      Mar 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm
                      It's a fight between nationalists and anti nationalists.
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        Prateik
                        Mar 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm
                        Tara where is your chand
                        Reply
                        1. T
                          tulasiram
                          Mar 5, 2016 at 9:20 am
                          Stop fakendra modi and amit shah from 5 states. Just used hindu centiment to get PM post. Lots of money to reliance and adani. BJP fakendra modi failed to keep economy in good.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            vasanth
                            Mar 5, 2016 at 3:14 am
                            let who ever win but develop the nation do good works. and be supportive for the people. solve the problems of people
                            Reply
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