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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Voting time extended, poll officials to be vaccinated: EC issues guidelines for 2021 Assembly elections

Voting for five assembly elections will begin on March 27, with West Bengal conducting the maximum eight phases continuing till April 29, and votes for the polls in the four states and one union territory will be counted on May 2.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 26, 2021 6:45:11 pm
Election Commission, Assembly electionsElection Commission press conference. (Express Photo by Anil Sharma)

Even as the Election Commission declared the poll schedule for the upcoming Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory, it emphasised the need to strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines amidst the pandemic.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said voting will be allowed for an extra hour, adding that arrangements would be made for candidates to file nominations online. He further said that all poll officials will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the elections.

“Vaccination drive has made the situation more conducive for elections. Everyone on poll duty will be declared frontline worker for vaccine purpose,” the election commissioner added.

Further, door-to-door campaigning has been restricted to five persons including the candidate. However, roadshows have been permitted.

“In the thick of the pandemic, ECI started test trials with elections to 18 seats to Rajya Sabha. After that, came the challenge of the Bihar elections, it was indeed a watershed moment for ECI. It proved to be a litmus test,” CEC Arora said in the briefing.

Paying his respect to Covid warriors, Arora said: “Our tributes to the Covid warriors, doctors, paramedics, nurses, researchers, scientists and all our officials on election duty who are located on the frontline.”

While West Bengal will go to polls in eight phases, Assam will see three-phase voting starting March 27. Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held on April 6. Results for all four states and one Union Territory will be declared on May 2.

2021 Assembly polls schedule.

A total of 824 assembly constituencies will be going to polls during the upcoming elections and nearly 18.68 crore electors will cast vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations spread over the four states and UT.

Voting will take place for 126 seats in Assam, 234 in Tamil Nadu, 294 in West Bengal, 140 in Kerala, 30 in Puducherry.

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