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EC announces three-phased Assam Assembly polls from March 27, counting on May 2

The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that Assam will go to Assembly elections in three phases beginning March 27.

The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “In Assam, elections shall be held in three phases. The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to polls on April 1. Forty Assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6. Votes will be counted on May 2.”

With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state.

“Model Code of Conduct to come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guidelines,” Arora said.

Ashok Kumar has been appointed as a special police observer for Assam.

“In Assam in 2016, the polling stations were 24,890 and in 2021, there will be 33,530. The percentage increase in polling stations 35.71 per cent. The term of Assam is up to May 31, 2021. The number of Assembly seats is 126. Reserved seats for SC is eight and for STs it is 16,” Arora said.

Besides Assam, the ECI also announced the election schedule for Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Puducherry and Kerala.

The CEC said adequate CAPFs deployment shall be ensured during elections. “All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed. Advance teams are already deployed in these States/UT,” he said.

“Postal ballot facility has been extended as an option to senior citizens aged 80 years and above, persons with disabilities and electors employed in essential services. A separate SOP (standard operating procedure) is there for COVID-19 patients, suspect COVID-19 patient. Polling time has been uniformly increased,” Arora added.

The CEC said door-to-door campaigning has been restricted to five persons including the candidate. Roadshows are allowed subjected to convoy breaking after five vehicles, he added.
“A 824 Assembly constituencies shall be going to polls. 18.68 crore voters will cast votes at 2.7 lakh polling stations in states/UT. More than 3 lakh service vote electors will be availing facilities of electronic transmitted postal ballet system,” Arora informed.

Earlier in January, the Assam Congress unit had announced that five political parties including Congress, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(Marxist), CPI(Marxist-Leninist) and Anchalik Gana Morcha would contest the state Assembly polls together to oust the Sonowal government from power.

“In upcoming Assam Assembly polls Congress, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(Marxist), CPI (Marxist-Leninist) and Anchalik Gana Morcha will fight together to oust BJP. We will keep our doors open for other regional and anti-BJP parties to join us,” Ripun Bora, President, Assam Congress said.

In 2016, the BJP scripted history and formed the government for the first time in the state ending Congress’s 15-year rule. BJP and its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) won a combined 86 seats in the 126-member Assam Assembly. BJP bagged 60 seats, AGP 14 and BPF 12 seats.

Congress, which ran the state for three straight terms under the leadership of Tarun Gogoi, could manage to win only 26 seats.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won nine of the 14 parliamentary seats while its allies the AGP and the BPF drew a blank. On the other hand, Congress bagged three seats and the AIUDF and an independent won one seat each.

The Central Armed Police Forces have started moving to four poll-bound states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry, West Bengal and Kerala — to ensure peaceful conduct of the Assembly elections.

According to official communication, accessed by ANI, a total of 45 CAPFs companies will be deployed in Tamil Nadu, 40 in Assam, 10 in Puducherry, 125 in West Bengal and 30 companies in Kerala. (ANI)

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