Kerala poll declaration likely on March 7; Schedule to be out next week, hints PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of the state assembly election, in Hooghly district, Monday, Feb 22, 2021. Photo: PTI

Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hinted that the dates for Assembly elections in Kerala and other states are expected to be announced by the Election Commission in the first week of March.

While addressing a massive public gathering at Silapathar in eastern Assam's Dhemaji district, Modi said, "Last time (2016), Assembly poll date for Assam was announced on March 4. This year, it is my assumption that EC will announce the dates for Assembly Polls by March 7. However, this is the work of the Election Commission."

"In the run-up to the elections, I will visit Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as much as I can," the Prime Minister said after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of five mega projects worth Rs 3,222 crore in gas, oil and education sectors.

Assembly elections in Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry are expected in April-May. The full bench of the EC led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has already visited all five states and held meetings with political parties, officials and others.

Senior EC officials also visited the five poll-bound states on a number of occasions to review the preparedness for the polls and plug the loopholes in holding the polls.

The election to Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency, which fell vacant after the resignation of IUML MP Kunhalikutty, will be held simultaneously with the Kerala Assembly polls.

After visiting Kerala a week ago, an EC delegation, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajeev Kumar, had said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of polling booths would be increased to 40,771 from the existing 25,000.

The last Assembly elections in Kerala were held on May 16, 2016. The new government has to occupy office by June 1.


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