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Notification for Assam polls tomorrow
March 09, 2006 12:27 IST
The formal process for the Assembly elections in five States will be set in motion when the notification will be issued on Friday for the first phase of polls in Assam on April 3.
Though elections are also being held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry, the poll schedule has been staggered over two months with the North Eastern state slated for an early two-phase poll on account of Bihu festival.
As many as 65 of the 126 seats in Assam will go to polls in the first phase on April 3 when the ruling Congress is expected to be locked in a multi-pronged contest due to the split in Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party's attempts to become the king-maker.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have already visited the state, which is witnessing the first polls after scrapping of the controversial IMDT Act by the Supreme Court.
The elections in the five states, the first major exercise since the UPA coalition government came to power 20 months back, will start on April 3 and end on May 8.
Counting of votes would take place on May 11.
In the Left Front-ruled West Bengal, where the Election Commission has been active in the last few months removing huge chunks of bogus voters from electoral rolls, an unprecedented five-phase polling on April 17, 22, 27, May 3 and 8 has been fixed.
Kerala will also witness an extended polling schedule spread over three days April 22, 29 and May 3, unusual for a state known for clean and violence-free polls.
Tamil Nadu will go to polls on a single day on May 8.
In neighbouring Pondicherry, elections will be held on May 8 in 27 constituencies while in Mahe (adjoining Kerala), Yamam (adjoining Andhra Pradesh) and Palloor it will be on May 3.
Assam has a 126-member assembly, Kerala 140, Tamil Nadu 234, West Bengal 294 and Pondicherry 30.