Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry may also go to polls that month

The Election Commission is likely to hold the Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry in May. In West Bengal, the poll process may continue in June as the term of the present Assembly ends only on June 11.

A clear picture on the poll dates will emerge in the next few days after the Commission completes consultations with the West Bengal and Assam governments, according to informed sources. Consultations with Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are already over. The dates will be fixed, taking into consideration festivals, important examinations, local holidays and other situations.

The Chief Electoral Officers of the four States and Puducherry have been told to complete publication of the electoral rolls by month-end — after the summary revision with January 1, 2011 as the cut-off date to include persons aged 18 and above as voters. The sources indicated that Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry would have a single-phase polling and in West Bengal and Assam, the exercise would be held in at least three phases considering their sensitivity.

Tamil Nadu will have early elections as the term of its Assembly on May 16. The Kerala Assembly term ends on May 23. The Assam and Puducherry Assemblies have their terms till May 28.

The elections will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 in Kerala, 294 in West Bengal, 126 in Assam and 30 in Puducherry.

Now West Bengal and Kerala are ruled by the Left parties, and Assam and Puducherry by the Congress. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK is in power with Congress support.