The Election Commission on Friday announced the poll dates for four states and one Union territory.
Voting for five assembly elections will begin on March 27 with West Bengal having the maximum of eight phases that will continue till April 29. The counting of votes for the four states and one union territory will be done on May 2, the EC.
The Assam assembly polls will be conducted in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6, while polling for the Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry assembly elections will take place in a single phase on April 6.
Elections for the West Bengal assembly will be held in eight phases, up from seven last time, beginning with polling for 30 seats on March 27, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said while announcing the poll schedule.
The second phase of West Bengal’s assembly elections has been scheduled on April 1 and will cover 30 constituencies, followed by the third phase on April 6 for 31 seats, fourth phase on April 10 for 44 constituencies, fifth phase on April 17 for 45 seats, sixth phase for 43 seats on April 22, seventh phase on April 26 for 36 seats and last and eighth phase on April 29 for 35 seats, Arora said.
The Model Code of Conduct will come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates.
Arora said a total of 824 assembly constituencies will go to polls this year. As many as 18.68 crore votes will cast their ballot at 2.7 lakh polling stations in the four states and one Union territory.
“Adequate CAPF’s deployment shall be ensured during elections. All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed,” Arora said addressing a press conference.
The term of the Assam assembly ends on May 31 while that of Tamil Nadu ends on May 24. While the West Bengal Assembly will be operational till May 30, the Kerala assembly term will get over on June 1.