New Delhi: In view of the upcoming board examinations, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is expected to hold the West Bengal Assembly election 2021 early. If reports are to be believed, the poll panel is planning to complete the election process before May 5. Notably, the tenure of the current Mamata-led TMC government will end on May 30.Also Read - Explained | Why Centre And States Are At Stand-Off Over Proposed Changes In Civil Servants’ Deputation Rule?
Reports further claimed that the poll panel could announce the schedule of the Bengal elections in the first week of February. Also Read - TMC Releases Second List of Candidates For Goa Assembly Elections 2022
The development comes after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora asserted that the full bench of the ECI is currently in the poll-bound West Bengal to review preparedness for the assembly elections due in April-May. The CEC had also stated that no civic police volunteers will be deployed for the polls. Also Read - Election Commission’s Ban On Rallies Extended Till January 31 With Relaxations For Phase 1 And 2
Multi-phase elections likely
The Election Commission has decided to hold Bengal elections in seven-eight phases due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has created havoc across the country. In 2016, poll panel had conducted Vidhan Sabha Chunav in six phases from April 4-May 5.
CEC Arora had informed that there will be 1,01,790 polling stations for the 2021 assembly elections in the Bengal and every booth should be made accessible to all persons with disabilities. Earlier, West Bengal had 78,903 polling stations.
Law & Order a Major Concern
Chief Election Commissioner said that several parties voiced concerns over the law and order situation in the state, while issues like fake news on social media and provocative slogans with communal overtone have also been flagged by them.
On being asked about allegations that a large number of electors were not allowed to cast votes in the 2018 Panchayat polls, Arora said the State Election Commission conducts the polls to the local bodies.
“The ECI will ensure that there is no irregularity and every voter is allowed to cast vote in a free and fair manner in the assembly polls. We know how to get it done,” he said.
Arora said the full bench of the ECI asked the state”s chief secretary and home secretary to look into the issues of fake information in the social media raised by political parties.
According to the CEC, the chief secretary and the home secretary of the state said that they are following the EC’s guidelines in letter and spirit.