S.Y. Qureshi, The Chief Election Commissioner of India has announced poll schedule for Assembly elections in five states. The states that are going to the polls are Tamilnadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry. The elections are going to be very crucial for left parties, particularly CPI (M) as two states (West Bengal and Kerala) are under the rule of left alliances. The Congress Party is also taking the polls very seriously as the party has been defeated worst in Bihar. Tamilnadu will be one more highly contentious state as the rift between Congress and ruling DMK widened due to 2G Spectrum Scam and both are indulged in blame game. Counting of the votes for all the states will be on 13th May 2011 and complete Results will be announced by 4 PM on the same day. Following is the brief schedule of Assembly elections for these five states and number of total Assembly seats in respective states:
1. Tamil Nadu: Single phase poll on April 13, 2011. Tamilnadu has a total of 234 Assembly seats. Main political parties are DMK and AIADMK along with MDMK.
2. Kerala: Voting on 13th April 13, 2011 in a single phase only. There are a total of 140 assembly seats. The main fight will be between Congress lead UDF (United Democratic Front) and CPI (M) lead LDF (Left Democratic Front).
3. West Bengal: Polls will be in six phases on April 18, April 27th, May 3, May 7, May 10. The poll result in West Bengal will be crucial this time for CPM as there appears to be a widespread anti incumbency because of Singur SEZ issue. There is a general opinion that the fight between CPM and Trinamool Congress will be intense this time. There are 294 seats in West Bengal Assembly.
4. Puducherry: Going to polls on 13th April 2011.
5. Assam: Poll will be in two phases on 4th April and 11th April 2011. The fate of Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Congress Party will be decided.
Election Commission has allowed all the political parties to check EVMs if they have any doubts on the performance of the machines. The EC also announced that Micro observers will be placed in all the polling stations in all the states. The Model code of conduct will come into effect immediately from today in the all five states. The Commission also made it clear that voter slips will be distributed to all eligible voters. It also proposed to start a call centre for poll related complaints from voters.