Kerala Assembly elections in two phases, postal ballot for 80 plus

Kerala Assembly

The Assembly elections in the state are likely to be held in two phases.

The notification for the polls is expected to be issued in the second week of March and the polls would be held by the end of April or in the beginning of May.

Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena will hold discussions with the representatives of the political parties in the state and submit a report to the Central Election Commission.

The election commission officials are expected to arrive in the state next week to hold preliminary discussions with the government and various officials regarding the arrangements for polls.

According to available indications, the number of polling stations is set to increase this time. In rural areas, the number of voters per polling station has been reduced from 1400 to 1000 voters. The number of polling stations with more than 1000 voters is over 15,000. A total of 45,000 polling stations would be needed including the existing 25,000.

The collectors have been directed to examine whether the polling stations have proper buildings. They have also been asked to ascertain the number of officials required for polling stations and in the event of shortage, additional staff will be requisitioned from the neighbouring districts.

The two-phase polls are being planned to meet the shortage of staff. A decision will be taken after eliciting the views of all sections. Postal ballots will be arranged for people above the age of 80 years and for differently-abled people. A decision on Covid patients will be taken later.

The Chief Electoral Officer’s office has given indications that the State Police Chief Lokanath Behara would not be transferred in connection with assembly elections. Earlier, there were speculations that the SPC would be shifted complying with the criteria of transferring revenue and police officials who are continuing in the same post for three years. However, the final decision on the matter will be taken by the EC.

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