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Concurrent polls in 4 states likely: EC

The terms of the assemblies in West Bengal, Assam, TN and Kerala will expire between May 25 and June 30.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 15:47 IST

The assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Union Territory of Pondicherry will be held simultaneously.

The schedule would be decided after a thorough assessment of the overall situation, Chief Election Commissioner BB Tandon said on Wednesday.

The Commission plans to hold simultaneous elections in these states, where the terms of the assemblies are expiring between May 25 and June 30, he told a press meet here.

Tandon, who reviewed the situation in Kerala and elicited views of major political parties, said the state government had suggested two-phase polling for Kerala.

Different political parties had made their suggestions regarding the poll dates in Kerala but the Commission would take a decision considering their views and all other aspects, the CEC said.

Photo-affixed electoral rolls would be used in all the constituencies in Kerala and Pondicherry.

There would be extensive videography of polling stations and digital cameras would be installed in booths in sensitive areas, he said.

Tandon said the revised electoral rolls for Kerala would be published later this month. The inclusion and updation process would, however, go on till the last date of filing of nominations.

As per the electoral rolls published in January 2005, the state had 2.07 crore voters. After that, 12.40 lakh applications were received out of which 8.40 lakh were accepted.

The state would have a total of 20,313 polling stations and would be provided with new Electronic Voting Machines replacing all the existing 26,500 EVMs.

Tandon said there was no truth in reports that the Election Commission had directed officials to set certain limits in inclusion of voters. "No direction has been issued. All eligible voters would be included," he said.

The central government employees would also be drafted for conduct of elections along with the state government staff.

The District Collectors had been asked to set up grievance cells in all districts to receive complaints and views regarding the conduct of the elections.

Tandon reviewed the situation in the state with Chief Secretary Mohammad Razuddin, Director General of Police Raman Srivastava, Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto and other senior officials. He also met District Collectors and zonal Inspectors General of Police.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 19:03 IST