Election Commission likely to announce assembly poll dates for Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Bengal and Tamil Nadu today
Assembly Elections 2021: Announcement of polling dates in four states and the Union Territory by the Election Commission of India will automatically trigger implementation of the Model Code of Conduct there.
March 08, 2021 / 11:01 AM IST
File image: CEC Sunil Arora
The Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce the Legislative Assembly election schedule for Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu at 4.30 pm on February 26.
The terms of the legislative assemblies of the four states and the Union Territory are coming to an end in May and June. They are expected to head for assembly polls in the March-end to May timeline.
Announcement of these poll dates would automatically trigger the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct there.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had last week said that the poll schedule would be fixed only after considering opinions raised by political parties, reviewing the availability of central forces, academic examinations and local festivals.
The election commission is also expected to chart out additional safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, just like the Bihar election in October-November 2020.
All officials involved in conducting the upcoming elections will be treated as frontline workers and would be vaccinated for COVID-19 on priority, Arora had announced earlier.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hoping to retain power in Assam while facing Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) as a joint opposition force. However, in West Bengal, the saffron party is aiming to defeat Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. Trinamool has been in power in the state since 2011.
After recently losing power in Puducherry following a number of defections, V Narayanasamy-led Congress will be taking on the main opposition party All India NR Congress. President's Rule has been imposed and the Assembly has been kept under suspended animation there.
In Kerala too, the Congress and its allies are hoping to displace the ruling Left Front and keep up the pattern of power shifting every five years in the state.
In Tamil Nadu, the opposition alliance led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is taking on the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) which has joined hands with the BJP.