8-phase poll in Bengal, three-phase in Assam, single in TN, Kerala

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The Election Commission on Friday announced single-phase polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assembly elections, three-phase polling in Assam, and eight phases in West Bengal.
Declaring the election schedule for the Assembly elections in the four states and a Union Territory, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said counting in all five elections will be held on May 2.
Elections to the 140-member Kerala Assembly, the 30-member Puducherry Assembly and the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly will be held on April 6, while voting to elect the 126-member Assam Assembly will be held on March 27, April 1, and April 6.
West Bengal to go for elections in eight phases – on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26, and the final phase on April 29.
The Model Code of Conduct will come into force immediately, Arora said.
The CEC said that adequate Central paramilitary forces will be deployed during the elections. All sensitive, critical and vulnerable polling stations have been identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed there.
A total of 18.68 crore electors will cast their votes at 2.7 lakh polling stations in the four states and the UT.
Arora noted that the poll panel had successfully conducted elections “in the thick of the pandemic”, starting with 18 Rajya Sabha seats. “After that, came the challenge of the Bihar elections, it was indeed a watershed moment for ECI. It proved to be a litmus test,” he said.

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