On Friday afternoon the Election Commission announced the much awaited polling dates for the five states which go to poll in the next couple of months. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry will hold Assembly elections in April and May. Polling begins as early as April 4, which is just a month away. And counting for all the 5 states will be held on May 19.
Bengal will vote in overall 6 phases but will vote on 7 days. The first two polling dates April 4 and April 11 will be considered as the 1st phase. Voting for the next 5 phases in Bengal takes place on April 17, April 21, April 25, April 30 and May 5 respectively. The EC noted that the district of Cooch Behar will also poll on May 5 as about 16,000 people from Bangladesh enclaves who have newly acquired voting rights in India, will vote on this date.
Assam will vote in 2 phases. In the 1st phase 65 constituencies will vote on April 4. In the 2nd phase, 61 constituencies will poll on April 11.
Tamil Nadu’s 234 constituencies will see a single-phase poll on May 16.
Kerala too will have a single-phase election which will be held on May 16 – the same day as Tamil Nadu. Kerala has 140 constituencies which will poll on the same day.
The union territory of Puducherry will again see a single phase poll on May 16, along with Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 30 constituencies will poll in Puducherry will poll on that day.
For the first time the Election Commission will introduce a symbol for NOTA (None of the above).