EC team in West Bengal to oversee poll preparedness; officials to set off for Tamil Nadu next week

While deputy election commissioner Sudeep Jain is already in Kolkata, EC secretary general Umesh Sinha and deputy election commissioner Ashish Kundra will leave for Chennai next week
The Election Commission of India building, New Delhi.(HT file)
The Election Commission of India building, New Delhi.(HT file)
Updated on Dec 18, 2020 08:35 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha

The Election Commission of India (EC) has begun poll preparation for assembly elections in April-May next year. While senior officials of the poll body are already in West Bengal,a team would visit Tamil Nadu next week, people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times.

Deputy election commissioner Sudip Jain is already in Kolkata and EC secretary general Umesh Sinha and deputy election commissioner Ashish Kundra will leave for Chennai next week.

They will assess the preparedness of the states, which are among the five that will go to polls next year. The other states where elections are scheduled are Kerala and Assam, and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The officials will conduct consultations with various stakeholders, including meetings with all state level EC officials who will be briefing the poll panel on the preparations. After the success in conducting the elections to the 243-member assembly in Bihar amid the Covid-19 pandemic, election commissioner Sushil Chandra had told Hindustan Times that the other five poll bound states would vote on schedule. The EC may issue similar guidelines as it had for the Bihar elections, if need be.

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The poll bound states are likely to see a heated battle, with BJP campaigning in full swing in Bengal. On Tuesday, a BJP delegation met chief election commissioner Sunil Arora to apprise him with the recent attack on the convoy of party president JP Nadda. The party has taken on the Mamta Banerjee-led government, in what promises to be a high-pitched political contest.

In Tamil Nadu, the latest entrant into the political fray is actor Rajinikanth, who has announced that his party will contest all 234 seats. The BJP and AIADMK are yet to finalise their alliance and negotiations between the Congress and DMK are also underway.

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Friday, October 29, 2021