18.68 crore electors to choose 824 MLAs in 4 states, Puducherry

Published: February 27,2021 08:51 AM

Story highlights

February 27, 2021: A total of 824 assembly constituencies shall be going for polls in four states--Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam-- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

February 27, 2021: A total of 824 assembly constituencies shall be going for polls in four states--Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam-- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The polling in these states will start from March 27 and end on April 29. The counting of votes for elections to four states and one UT will be held on May 2. As many as 18.68 crore electors will cast vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

The polling time has been increased by one hour and the Postal Ballot has been extended to voters above age of 80, people with disabilities and people involved in essential services.

With this, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force immediately in four states and Puducherry after the announcement of the election dates.

In Assam, the term of the 14th legislative assembly will expire on 31 May 2021. The Assembly elections for 126 seats will be held in three phases starting from March 27. A total of 2,32,44,454 electors will elect the candidates in Assam for the 15th legislative assembly of Assam. Of the 126 seats, the number of reserved seats for SCs is eight and for STs it is 16.The number of polling booths in Assam has been increased from 24,890 to 33,530, an increase of 35.71 per cent.

The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to polls on April 1. A total of 41 constituencies in 12 districts will go to polls on April 6.

In 2016, the BJP scripted history and formed the government for the first time in the state ending Congress's 15-year rule. BJP and its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) won a combined 86 seats in the 126-member Assam Assembly. BJP bagged 60 seats, AGP 14 and BPF 12 seats. Congress, which ran the state for three straight terms under the leadership of Tarun Gogoi, could manage to win only 26 seats.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won nine of the 14 parliamentary seats while its allies the AGP and the BPF drew a blank. On the other hand, Congress bagged three seats and the AIUDF and an independent won one seat each.

Earlier in January, the Assam Congress unit had announced that five political parties including Congress, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(Marxist), CPI(Marxist-Leninist) and Anchalik Gana Morcha would contest the state Assembly polls together to oust the Sonowal government from power.

The BJP is relying heavily on central leadership to return to power again in the state. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda visited the state and addressed the huge gatherings in different parts of the state.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal is pushing the issue of insurgency in the state and has said that his government is working to make Assam a terror-free state. Five militant groups of Karbi Anglong surrendered in front of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a function in Guwahati on February 23, ahead of the state's assembly elections. The development comes a year after the Modi government signed the Bodo peace accord -- bringing an end to the long violent movement for a separate Bodoland.

For the Assembly Elections 2021, the Election Commission has issued a protocol for voting. All poll officials will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before elections for five assembly polls, the commission said.

ECI guidelines for the upcoming elections include-- door-to-door campaigning to be restricted to five persons including the candidate, polling officials to be vaccinated, separate norms for suspected COVID-19 patients.

Central Armed Police Forces would be deployed and also special observers from other states would be nominated for monitoring the expenses during the assembly elections.

According to official communication accessed by ANI, a total of 45 CAPFs companies will be deployed in Tamil Nadu, 40 in Assam, 10 in Puducherry, 125 in West Bengal and 30 companies in Kerala.