The Election Commission of India is holding a crucial meeting today to finalise the schedule for Assembly polls in four states and one in Union Territory later this year. The four states are West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. The only UT where polling will take place is Puducherry.
According to sources of ABP News, the Election Commission will announce the dates of the 5 states election at 4:30 pm today via a press conference. Sources also suggested the West Bengal elections is likely to be conducted in 5 phases.
It was much anticipated that EC will announce the dates of assembly elections in the first week of March. Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a public meeting at Silapathar in Assam’s Dhemaji district, said, “Last time in 2016, the Assembly poll dates were announced on March 4. This year, it is my assumption that EC will announce the dates for Assembly Polls by March 7. It is up to them (EC) to announce the dates but till the announcement is made, I will visit Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala as much as I can.”
Elections to be conducted with necessary Covid guidelines
The 5 state assembly elections will be conducted following all the covid protocols issued by the Union Health Ministry. According to a report by PTI, the ECI has already started inoculation of the officials involved with the polling and the entire process would get over before the election starts.
Similar to the Bihar polls, candidates for the election will also follow the guidelines while officials inside polling booths will wear masks, face shields, and gloves and use sanitizers.
Once inside polling stations, voters will have their body temperatures checked. The body temperature of a voter would be checked for a second time if the person is found having a temperature beyond the permissible limit of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the person’s body temperature is found high for the second time too, the voter will be asked to come back to cast vote in the final hour of the day (5 pm-6 pm). Suspected Covid-19 patients will be allowed to cast their votes only after others finish exercising their franchise.
Electors would be provided with disposable gloves for one hand, which they will use for signing and to press the button of an EVM.