National

4 States, Puducherry to go to polls between April 4 and May 16

The Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam and Union Territory of Puducherry will be held between April 4, 2016 and May 16, 2016, spread over 43 days.

It will be a single-day polling in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry on May 16, while it will be in six phases in West Bengal and two in Assam.

Counting of votes in all the States will be held on May 19, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced on Friday.

Symbol for NOTA, all-women booths

The elections will also see for the first time a symbol, which has been created by the National School of Design, allotted to NOTA (None of the above) that will be placed at the bottom of the list of candidates.

Noting that voters are in the focus of the Commission, Mr. Zaidi said all booths will have seven basic facilities and there will also be all-women polling booths.

If possible polling centres will be set up in blind schools, leprosy centres to ensure inclusiveness.

Mobile squads will have GPS-fitted vehicles and be accompanied by central forces to ensure that they quickly attend to complaints.

Like in 2011, West Bengal will have polls spread over six phases. The first phase to be held in Naxal-affected areas will have two polling dates — April 4 and April 11. The other phases will be held on April 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5. Assam will go to polls in two phases on April 4 and 11.

Mr. Zaidi said two dates in the first phase of polling in West Bengal have been decided keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the area and the availability of security personnel as they would also be deployed in Assam which is also considered sensitive.

He maintained that West Bengal will have polls in “overall” six phases.





While refusing to specify the strength of central forces deployed in West Bengal for the assembly polls, Mr. Zaidi said their number has increased as compared to 2011 polls.

He also said following delimitation exercise in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, 16,000 people who became Indian citizens following of exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh, will be able to cast votes in the polls.

The law which allows EC to hold delimitation exercise to put these people in various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies came into force this morning.

The CEC said due to the delimitation exercise, Cooch Behar has been kept in the last phase of Assembly polls to be held on May 5.

Enrolling of voters and verification of electoral rolls

The Commission has allowed new voters to enroll themselves until 10 days from the last date of nomination. Emphasizing that the voters should check if their names are listed in the electoral rolls, Mr. Zaidi said, "mere photo ID card is not adequate."

Candidates’ photos in EVM

The photographs of all candidates will be included along with their name and the symbol on the EVMs. This has been done to eliminate confusion for voters, Mr. Zaidi said.

All polling stations in West Bengal and Assam will be covered by the CRPF.

Each districts will have five Central observers to monitor the elections.

As part of measures to ensure neutrality of officials during polls, the EC has already ordered transfer of officials above the rank of sub inspectors and inspectors to be moved out of areas where they have served for over three years.

To a poser on “proximity” of certain officials in West Bengal with the ruling party there, he said he would not go into names of officials or any particular state, but the Commission will ensure that only those who are neutral and impartial are associated with poll-related work. “We will take appropriate action...we are keeping a watch,” he said.

He was asked about duplicity of voters in Kerala to which Mr. Zaidi said the Commission has used a latest software to delete multiple entries. “We will now investigate whether it was an inadvertent mistake or a mischief,” he said.

The poll schedule is as follows.

Assam





Number of constituencies: 126

Number of phases: 2 (65, 61)

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: March 11, 14

Last Date for Nominations: March 18, 21

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: March 19, 22

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures: March 21, 26

Date of polling: April 4, 11

West Bengal





Number of constituencies: 294

Number of phases: 6* (18, 56, 62, 49, 53, 56 )

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: March 11&14, 22, 28, April 1, 4, 7

Last Date for Nominations: March 18&21, 29, April 4, 8, 11

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: March 19&22, 30, April 5, 9, 19

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures: March 21&26, April 1, 7, 11, 21

Date of poll: April 4&11, 17, 21, 25, 30, May 5

*First phase will be held on two days.

Kerala

Number of constituencies: 140

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: April 22

Last Date for Nominations: April 29

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: April 30

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures: May 2

Date of polling: May 16

Tamil Nadu

Number of constituencies: 234

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: April 22

Last Date for Nominations: April 29

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: April 30

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures: May 2

Date of polling: May 16

Puducherry

Number of constituencies: 30

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: April 22

Last Date for Nominations: April 29

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: April 30

Last date for withdrawal of candidatures: May 2

Date of polling: May 16

Counting of votes on May 19.

(With PTI inputs)

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 12:04:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/election-dates-for-five-states-announced/article8313813.ece

Next Story