Assam is going to polls in two phases and election would be over ahead of the Rongali Bihu. In the first phase, polling would be held in 65 Legislative Assembly Constituencies on April 4, while 61 constituencies would go to poll in the second phase on April 11. Results would be declared on May 19.
Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi, Election Commissioners AK Jyoti and Om Prakash Rawat unveiled the election schedule. Along with Assam, elections would be held in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry.
Declaring the schedule, Dr Zaidi said that Assam would be first among the five States to go to polls and notification for the first phase would be issued on March 11. The last date of filing of nomination is March 18, while scrutiny would be held the next day and March 21 would be the last date of withdrawal of nomination.
The notification for the second phase would be issued on March 14. The last date of filing nomination is March 21, scrutiny on March 22 and the last date of withdrawal is March 26. The term of the current Assembly expires on June 15, though the entire election process would be over by May 21.
The CEC said that special focus would be on Assam and West Bengal and the two States would see heavy deployment of security.
The Commission, after visiting the poll-bound States, had directed to conduct a time-bound and systematic drive for the improvement in the quality and health of their respective electoral rolls, so as to enhance their fidelity for the conduct of free-and-fair elections.
During the Special Electoral Roll Purification Drive from February 15 to 29, concerted focus was laid on enrolment of all eligible voters, removal of repeat and multiple entries, removal of entries of dead voters (after due statutory procedure), correction of various types of errors and roll data. Wide ranging consultations were also held with the various stakeholders and their valuable suggestions and inputs were duly considered during the drive. This exercise has improved the quality of the electoral rolls in a significant way, he added.
The Photo Electoral Rolls will be used during these general elections and photo percentages in Photo Electoral Rolls of Assam is 97.90 per cent.
The CEC further clarified that the Model Code of Conduct has already came into effect. All the provisions of the Model Code will apply to the whole of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pudducherry and will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State governments of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pudducherry. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government insofar as announcements and policy decisions pertaining to the States concerned.
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