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EC announces assembly election schedule for four states, Pondy

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) Assembly elections will be held in record five phases in West Bengal, in a single phase in Tamil Nadu, in two rounds in Assam and Pondicherry and in three stages in Kerala, the Election Commission announced today.

Polling will be held in West Bengal on April 17, 22 and 27 and May 3 and 8, in Tamil Nadu on May 8, in Assam on April 3 and 10, in Pondicherry on May 3 and 8 and in Kerala on April 22, 29 and May 3, Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon told reporters.

Counting will take place in all the four states and Pondicherry on May 11 and the election process will be completed by May 20.

With the announcement, the model code of conduct has come into force immediately in the poll-bound states, he said.

The schedule for the election was finalised after taking into consideration the ''ground realities,'' the prevailing law and order situation, including the problems posed by insurgents in Assam and West Bengal, availability of central para military forces, time needed for movement and proper deployment of forces and schools examinations and various festivals, Mr Tandon said.

Acknowledging that this was the first time West Bengal, where the EC had sent its teams three times and issued several warnings following detection of irregularities in the electoral rolls and the distribution of voter i-cards, would be witnessing assembly poll in five phases, the CEC said the decision was taken after considering all the aspects, including the Naxal problem.

In Tamil Nadu, where the assembly has 234 seats, nominations will open on April 13 and close on April 20. Scrutiny will take place on April 21 and the last date for withdrawal is April 24.

In Assam, the first phase of polling will cover 65 constituencies and the second phase 61. Notification for the first round will be issued on March 10 and the nominations close on March 17. Scrutiny will be done on March 18. Last date for withdrawal is March 20. For the second phase, nominations open on March 17 and close on March 24. Scrutiny is slated for March 25 and the last date for withdrawal is March 27.

In Kerala, the notifications for the three phases will be issued on March 28, 31 and April 5 and the nominations will be open till April 4, 7 and 12 respectively. Scrutiny will take place on April 5, 8 and 13. Last date for withdrawal is April 7, 10 and 17 respectively. The first phase will cover 59 constituencies, the second 66 seats and the third 15 seats.

In Pondicherry, three constituencies will be covered in the first round and the remaining 27 seats in the second. Nominations open on April 5 and 13 for the two phases respectively, and close on April 12 and 20. Scrutiny will be done on April 13 and 21 and the last date for withdrawal is April 15 and 24.

In West Bengal, the number of constituencies that will be covered in the five phases is 45, 66, 77, 57 and 49 respectively.

Nominations will open on March 24, 28, April 1, 5 and 13 and close on March 31, April 4, 8, 12 and 20. Scrutiny will take place on April 1, 5, 10, 13 and 21. Last dates for withdrawal are April 3, 7, 12, 17 and 24.

UNI SN RP KN1817

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