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Assembly Election Dates Announcement Updates: Congress, TMC question rationale of holding eight-phase polls in West Bengal

FP Staff
·3-min read

Assembly Election Dates Announcement LATEST Updates: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the Assembly polls will be held in West Bengal in eight phases. The dates are as follows: 27 March, 1 April, 6 April, 10 April, 17 April, 22 April, 26 April, 29 April

Arora said that the polls to Tamil Nadu and Kerala will held in a single phase on 6 April

Arora took exception to media reports suggesting Election Commission requested early deployment of central forces in West Bengal.

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 Sunil Arora said.

CEC Sunil Arora said that the Bihar Assembly Election was a watershed moment for the Election Commission as it was difficult conduct the massive democratic exercise among an electorate of over 7 crore people.

Barely an hour before the Election Commission releases the poll dates, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced a hike in minimum wages for daily wage labourers.

The is the second Assembly election to be conducted amid COVID-19 pandemic. The Election Commission had successfully conducted Bihar Assembly elections in November last year.

The Election Commission is expected to announce the schedule of upcoming Assembly elections in five states at 4.30 pm on Friday, News18 reported.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the poll panel held a meeting to finalise the dates for the poll-bound states €" West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala €" and Union Territory Puducherry.

Moreover, Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain, who is also the in-charge of West Bengal, will be travelling to Kolkata on Friday to take note of the preparedness and updates.

During his visit, Jain will hold a series of meetings with district magistrates and police superintendents. He would also seek a detailed plan from each of the district administration about deployment of central forces, reported The New Indian Express.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Election Commission is likely to hold elections in West Bengal in seven-eight phases. In 2016, elections were held in six phases from 4 April to 5 May.

Meanwhile, the blast in Murshidabad's Nimtita and the recent violence in parts of West Midnapore have prompted the poll body to label 6,400 booths in Bengal as "extremely sensitive".

"The EC, after preliminary investigation, has identified 6,400 booths as extremely sensitive. This is the highest among the four poll-bound states and a Union Territory," a state election commission official was quoted by The Times of India as saying.

The terms of the legislative Assemblies of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry will come to an end either in May or June this year.

Also See: Assembly Election 2021 Dates: Bengal to vote on 27 March, 1-29 April; TN, Kerala, Puducherry on 6 April; Assam on 27 March, 1-6 April

Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Dates Announcement: Single-phased poll to be held on 6 April, counting on 2 May

Puducherry Assembly Election Dates Announced: Polling to take place in single phase on 6 April; counting of votes on 2 May

Read more on India by Firstpost.