The Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the Assembly elections dates for polls in four states and a UT on Friday, February 26. These are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry. They will go to the polls in April-May. The polls in these states are being held after the Bihar assembly elections last year, in which BJP, along with JDU, formed the government. During the presser today, the Election Commission may also announce measures to be taken in the run-up to the polls in these states as coronavirus scare looms large in many cities.
Catch all the live updates of the ECI presser on BusinessToday.In live updates
5.41 pm: Assembly Election 2021 schedule: Full poll schedule
Counting Day: May 2
West Bengal - 8 phases
First Phase: March 27
Second Phase: April 1
Third Phase: April 6
Fourth Phase: April 10
Fifth Phase: April 17
Sixth Phase: April 22
Seventh Phase: April 26
Eight Phase: April 29
Tamil Nadu - Single Phase - April 6
Puducherry - Single Phase - April 6
Kerala - Single Phase - April 6
Assam - Three phases
First Phase: March 27
Second Phase: April 1
Third Phase: April 6
5.35 pm: Puducherry Assembly elections on April 6
Puducherry Assembly elections for 30 seats will be conducted on April 6, along with Kerala and Kerala.
5.29 pm: Bengal Assembly elections to be held in eight phases
- First phase voting to be held in five districts on March 27
- Second phase polling in 30 constituencies on April 1
- Third phase voting on April 6
- Fourth phase polling on April 10
- Fifth phase voting on April 17
- Sixth phase polling on April 22
5.27 pm: Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to be held on April 6.
5.25 pm: Assembly poll election results for all states to be out on May 2
5.22 pm: Kerala Assembly elections on April
All seats of the state's assembly will go to polls in a single phase on April 6.
5.19 pm: Assam elections to be held in three phases: CEC
Assam polls will be held in three phases, CEC Sunil Arora said. He added that the first phase will be held on March 27, date of counting is May 2.
5.16 pm: Parties to release their candidates' criminal records: CEC
All political parties will publish details of criminal antecedents of their candidates in the local newspaper, website, and channel, CEC Sunil Arora said.
5.13 pm: Model cod of conduct will come into effect with date announcement, says CEC
CEC Sunil Arora said that the model code of conduct will come into effect as soon as the election dates are announced.
5.08 pm: EC to send special, general, expenditure, and police observers to five assemblies
Police observers picked by the Election Commission comprise Vivek Dubey - Bengal, Deepak Mishra - Kerala, Dharmendra Kumar - Tamil Nadu.
Special expenditure observers include - Murli Kumar - Bengal, Madhumalati Balanrishnam - Tamil Nadu, Neema Nigam - Assam, Pushpendra Punia - Kerala.
5.03 pm: Assembly Elections 2021: Adequate police force deployment shall be ensured during elections
CEC Sunil Arora said that the sufficient Central Armed Police Forces' (CAPF) shall be ensured during elections. All critical, vulnerable voting booths identified.
4.59 pm: Postal ballot permitted only for sick, essential service employees, and senior citizens
The Election Commission has permitted the postal ballot only for sick, senior citizens, and essential service employees. CEC Sunil Arora said that the time for polling has been increased by one hour uniformly to make sure that people can cast their votes while maintaining social distancing at polling stations.
4.56 pm: Election Commission permits roadshows during poll campaign
CEC Sunil Arora said during the presser that the roadshows will be allowed during the canvassing by parties provided the convoy is broken after every five vehicles. However, the final decision will rest with the local CEO.
4.52 pm: COVID vaccination drive has contributed to positive poll environment, says CEC
CEC Sunil Arora said that the rollout of the inoculation drive has helped ensure a positive poll environment and has boosted the electorates' faith in the process.
4.47 pm: Assembly Election 2021 schedule: 86 crore electorate will vote for 834 assembly seats, says CEC
CEC Sunil Arora said that the upcoming state assembly elections will witness 86 crore electorate casting their votes at 2.7 lakh voting booths to elect representatives of 824 assembly seats.
4.41 pm: CEC pays tribute to coronavirus warrior
CEC Sunil Arora paid tributed to corona warriors. He added that the pandemic threw open a dilemma before the election bodies across democracies on how to manage the democratic rights of people alongside taking care of their health. Arora further stated that Bihar elections were a "litmus test" for the Election Commission, but the "electorate of the state reposed faith in us."
4.35 pm: India officially enters poll season
Will ensure safety during voting. challenge to hold polls amid COVID: CEC Sunil Arora.
4.32 pm: Election Comission's presser on five states' poll dates begins
4.30 pm: Congress press briefing on poll dates announcement at 5 pm
The Congress party will hold a presser at 5 pm, after the EC will announce the poll dates for five assembly elections in Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu.
4.26 pm: CEC reaches Vigyan Bhawan for media briefing
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, including EC team, has reached the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi for the presser.
4.18 PM: When & where to watch EC presser live?
You can catch all the live updates on BusinessToday.In. You can also tune into India Today or Aaj Tak TV channels. You can also log on to IndiaToday.in and aajtak.in. Besides, eci.gov.in/live will also broadcast the ECI press conference.
4.05 PM: Ahead of the EC press conference, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee hikes daily wages.
I am pleased to announce a HIKE in the wages of daily wage workers under WB Urban Employment Scheme:— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 26, 2021
> To ₹202 per day from ₹144 earlier for unskilled labour
> To ₹303 from ₹172 earlier for semi-skilled
> ₹404 for skilled labour (new category introduced)
4.00 AM: Total Assembly seats
- West Bengal: 294
- Tamil Nadu: 234
- Kerala: 140
- Assam: 126
- Puducherry: 30
3.50 PM: The decision to announce Assembly election dates came after a meeting of the ECI officials on Wednesday in which they finalised the dates for the elections. During the meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, the officials discussed the security deployment requirement, social distancing norms and details about the polling infrastructure in these states.