Updated: February 26, 2021 7:35:43 pm
The Election Commission Friday announced the schedule for Assembly elections in four poll-bound states and one Union Territory (Puducherry) where nearly 18.68 crore electors will vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations for a total of 824 seats. While the elections will start with voting in Assam and West Bengal on March 27, results will be announced on May 2.
The elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases, the EC announced. The dates on which voting will take place for the 294 seats in Bengal are March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29.
Voting for 126 seats in Assam will be conducted in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6, while polling for Kerala’s 140 seats, Tamil Nadu’s 234 seats and Puducherry’s 30 seats will take place in a single phase on April 6.
Arora also stated that this election will be the last set during his tenure as he is set to demit office on April 13. Spelling out the Covid-19 measures, Arora said door-to-door campaigning for the polls will be restricted to five persons including the candidate. Although roadshows will allowed, there will be separate norms for suspected Covid-19 patients.
All the polling officials will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before elections, Arora said. “Vaccination drive has made the situation more conducive for elections, everyone on poll duty declared frontline worker for vaccine purpose,” he added. Arrangements will be put in place for candidates to file their nominations online while the voting process will be allowed for an additional hour, keeping in mind COVID-19 safety guidelines, he said.
Apart from these, webcasting arrangement will be in place at polling stations in critical and vulnerable areas. While adequate CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) deployment will be ensured for the assembly polls, Arora said.
All critical and vulnerable areas have been identified and advance teams have been already deployed across the four states and one Union Territories. Arora also said the EC will appoint two special observers for the polls in Bengal. If needed, a third can also be sent, he added.
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