Assembly elections likely in April

Indications are that the Assembly elections in the State will be held in April.

While the Election Commission is yet to take a final decision on the matter, the present indications are that the State will go to polls in April, Teeka Ram Meena, Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala, said on Tuesday.

Schools unavailable

Early elections are likely due to a combination of factors, including the schedule of the CBSE exams. “’The CBSE exams are planned in May and June, so the schools may not be available to us. Most of our polling stations are in schools,” Mr. Meena said.

The Ramzan fasting begins in mid-April, which too will be taken into account by the commission when finalising a decision. In 2016, the Assembly election was held on May 16. The results were declared on May 19 and the LDF government led by Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in on May 25.

Top officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) are likely to visit Kerala either in the last week of January or the first week of February, Mr. Meena said. Initially, the ECI team had planned a three-day visit starting on January 21, but it was postponed.

The ECI will take a final decision regarding the number of phases for the polls in Kerala after consultations with political parties and the government. The Chief Electoral Officer had received feedback from District Collectors that two phases would be advisable given the COVID-19 scenario in the State.

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