In what would become an unprecedented fashion of the legislative elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has on Friday announced a slew of first-of-its-kind measures to conduct the legislative elections in five crucial states - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry.
The life of the current assemblies of these states will come to an end before June 2021 and the Chief Election Body has been preparing to make imperative and adequate arrangements to conduct the polls by balancing the measures to make comfortable votings and to tackle the COVID-19 spread. The Election Commission had tabled the meetings with the concerned stakeholders to review the situation and preparedness to conduct the polls.
Ahead of the final announcement, the respective state election commissions had examined the prevailing state of conducting elections, the feasible period of conducting the polls, and the number of critical and vulnerable constituencies. After scrutinizing the reports from the state election commissions for the poll-bound states, the Chief Election Commission has said that it will address the media concerning the election dates and measures of these states on Friday at around 4.30 pm.
As announced, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had addressed the reporters in Delhi during which he had revealed the election dates for all the five states and he also announced a slew of measures that are going to make debut from these elections. The Chief Election Commissioner has said that the additional measures and security forces will be deployed to the vulnerable constituencies to avoid untoward incidents. Let's take a look at the election dates for Tamil Nadu and other states.
Tamil Nadu will go to the polls in a single phase on April 6, 2021. The vote counting will take place on May 2nd during which the results will be announced. As the Chief Election Body has announced the poll schedule, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force in Tamil Nadu which debars any people-welfare announcements from the political parties. The parties will be scrutinized by the election officials and observers on the front of spending money and on adhering to the election rules.
The Election commission will take charge of the assembly elections and the state government will be acting on the advice of the election body until the MCC has been withdrawn. The expenditure limit for each constituency in Tamil Nadu for the 2021 polls has been capped by Rs 30.8 lakh and the Chief Election Commission has said that the polling time has been increased by an hour in the evening due to the COVID-19 pandemic and each poll will be capable to accommodate 1000 votes.
The ECI has installed more polling stations in Tamil Nadu and other states to ensure that the voters won't throng to the stations and they have enough social distancing within the polling stations. The Election Commissioner has said that all the polling stations would be on the ground floor and 50% of webcasting has to be installed in the vulnerable constituencies. The number of polling stations in Tamil Nadu for the upcoming elections will be 88,936 with an increase of around 34% when compared to the 2016 polls.
The ECI has said that a total of 824 assembly constituencies in five states will be going to polls and the term of the current Tamil Nadu assembly will come to an end on May 24, 2021. As the election date and MCC have come into the light, Tamil Nadu would be witnessing a long-simmering heat between the political parties to win the race for the reign and the main fight would be between the ruling ADMK and the opposition DMK.
Keeping in mind MCC, which bans the announcements of people welfare schemes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced the schemes to cover large-scale voters ahead of the announcement of the election schedule by the ECI. On Friday, the Chief Minister has announced loan waivers for farmers and women self-help groups as his last bid of unveiling schemes to cover votes.
At the current state, Tamil Nadu is less than two months to go for the polls, which would be the first since the demise of political giants Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa and the first legislative elections for Edappadi Palaniswami as the Chief Minister and for MK Stalin as the DMK President. The following are the dates of the election schedule in Tamil Nadu that you should know and the below schedule would be applicable for Kerala, Puducherry, and for the parliamentary by-election for the Kanyakumari constituency in Tamil Nadu.
- Single-phase election for all the 234 constituencies
- Issue of Notification - March 12th, 2021.
- Last date of nomination - March 19th, 2021.
- Last date of scrutiny - March 20th, 2021.
- Last date for withdrawing nomination - March 22nd, 2021
- Date of Election - April 6th, 2021.
- Date of counting - May 2nd, 2021, during which the winner will be declared.