Election Commission announces dates for polls in 5 states

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New Delhi: A six-phase assembly elections in West Bengal, a two-stage poll in Assam and a single-day poll in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry were on March 1 announced by the Election Commission, setting in motion the largest such exercise after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

West Bengal will have elections in six phases on April 18, 23, 27, May 3, 7 and 10, in perhaps the longest ever in the state.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will go to polls on April 13; Assam’s two-phase poll is scheduled on April 4 and 11.

Counting of votes in all the five states will take place on May 13.

While West Bengal has 294 assembly constituencies, Tamil Nadu has 234, Kerala 140, Puducherry 30 and Assam 126.

The elections are the first battle of the ballot in the New Year and would involve over 14.39 crore electorate in the five states with West Bengal having the largest number of over 5.60 crore electors followed by Tamil Nadu 4.59 crore.

While Kerala has 2.29 crore electors, Assam 1.81 crore and Puducherry is just over 8 lakh. Polling will be held through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMS).

A highlight this time is that Overseas Indians could exercise their franchise in  person and instructions have been issued to facilitate their voting.

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