LDF, UDF ask EC to hold Kerala assembly polls in April, BJP suggests May

Elections to seven local body wards on Jan 21

The ruling LDF and opposition UDF in Kerala have urged the election commission to hold assembly elections in the state before April 14.

The request was made in view of Vishu and Ramzan festivals. The UDF took a stand in favour of holding elections between April 8 and 12.

While the two principal political fronts requested the EC not to extend the polls, the BJP favoured elections sometime in May.

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

The parties urged the EC team to allow public gathering of party workers on the last day of campaigning, with restrictions in view of the Covid situation. The BJP expressed the fear about misuse of postal ballots and sought the deployment of central forces for providing security during polls.

The UDF representatives sought steps to check bogus votes. It also demanded that the by-poll for Malappuram parliamentary constituency be held along with the assembly elections.

The EC team arrived in Kerala on Friday to review the preparations in the state for the forthcoming assembly polls. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, election commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar and senior officials are part of the EC team which will be in Kerala till February 15.

The EC team held discussion with the chief electoral officer and police nodal officers at 10 am on Saturday. This was followed by the meeting with the representatives of political parties.

The EC officials will have interaction with district electoral officers, district Sps and other agencies involved in the conduct of elections.

The CEC and commissioners are scheduled to meet the chief secretary, home secretary, state police chief and other senior civil and police officials on Sunday to discuss poll preparations.

After holding a press conference at 5 pm on Sunday to brief the outcome of their visit, the EC team will return to Delhi on Monday morning.


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