Electioneering campaign is heating up in respect of the third Phase in Assam and West Bengal and also for the single-phase elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry. Third Phase polling in Assam and West Bengal will be held on 6th of April when 338 candidates will be contesting for the 40 seats of Assam and 205 candidates for 31 seats of West Bengal.
The single-phase polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu along with the Union Territory of Puducherry will also be held on 6th of the next month. While there will be 957 candidates in fray for the 140 Assembly Constituencies of Kerala, the total number of candidates will be 4,125 in respect of 234 Constituencies in Tamil Nadu. In Puducherry, 324 candidates will be vying for the 30 Assembly seats.
In Tamil Nadu Campaigning is gaining momentum in all the 234 assembly constituencies in the State. With just a few more days left for the single phase polling, preparations are in full swing by election commission.
AIR correspondent reports on one of the key constituency, that Bodinayakanur in Theni district is a key constituency in which the Coordinator of the AIADMK and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is facing election for the fifth time. It is interesting to note that he has to face Thanga Tamil Selvan, a former AIADMK MLA who is now contesting as a DMK candidate in Bodinayakaur.
It will be a unique fight here as both of them were co workers of AIADMK as long as Jayalalithaa was alive. Panneerselvam was also a former Chief Minister twice when Jayalalithaa was imprisoned on the disproportionate assets case. He wore the mantle of the Chief Minister a third time when Jayalalithaa was no more. He later gave up the post of Chief Minister in January 2017 and was removed from the post as a treasurer of the party. This was also a protest against Sasikala who was holding the reigns of the party. Later after unification, both Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palanisamy combine not only led the party but also facing this crucial election.
Campaign for the Kerala assembly polls entered its crucial phase, as the state is set to go to polls in 6 days.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, campaigning for Congress-led UDF, hit out at the Left government for not keeping the promises made to the people. She urged voters to ask for their rights.
Meanwhile the BJP and CPI(M) raked up the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with the BJP pledging to fulfill its promises and the Left declaring that the controversial law will not be implemented in the state.
Kerala had witnessed separate protests by CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF, seeking to withdraw the CAA, describing it as discriminatory. AIR correspondent reports that campaigning of all the major fronts is in the last leg. The assembly polls in 140 constituencies in Kerala will be held in single phase on April 6th.
The bypoll to the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat will also be held on the same date. As polling date nears national leaders are actively campaigning for LDF, UDF and NDA. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making his second visit in connection with upcoming assembly polls on April 2nd for NDA campaign in Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram.
The CPM national leaders are also camping in the State, boosting the LDF campaign. Meanwhile Kerala High Court is expected to deliver the final verdict today on the opposition’s allegation of multiple entries of names in the final electoral roll published for the Assembly polls.
Earlier the High court had directed the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer to ensure that no double voting takes place on the day of Assembly elections in the State.
In Assam, several star campaigners are holding rallies for the third phase of polls. Senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a rally at Bijni while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too attended an election meeting at Chaygaon.
Campaigning for third phase is also going on in West Bengal. BJP president JP Nadda is scheduled to hold two public meetings and a road show today while Union Minister Smriti Irani will address three rallies. TMC leader Mamata Banerjee will also address three rallies including one at Singur. Leaders of Sanyukt Morcha and other parties are also holding meetings and street corners across constituencies.
Besides, the Lok Sabha by-polls will be conducted simultaneously for Kanniyakumari seat in Tamil Nadu where there will be 12 candidates in the fray and also for Malappuram seat in Kerala where six candidates will be taking part in the electoral battle.
During the Fourth Phase of Assembly Elections in West Bengal, the final scenario of electoral contests became clear last Friday after withdrawal of candidature and the election campaign was initiated by the prominent leaders of different political parties. During this phase, 373 candidates will be vying for 44 Assembly seats that will go to polls on 10th of April.
The scrutiny of the nomination papers for the Fifth Phase is being undertaken today following closure of nomination process yesterday. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 3rd of April. The scrutiny is also on for By-Elections of two Lok Sabha seats including Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Belgaum in Karnataka along with 14 Assembly Constituencies in eleven states. The ACs going in for the by-polls include three in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Uttarakhand. In all, 45 ACs will go to polls in the Fifth Phase on 17th of April.
Meanwhile, the process of filing nominations for the Sixth Phase of elections in West Bengal will continue till 3rd of April and the scrutiny of nominations will be undertaken on 5th of April. The last date of withdrawal of candidature will be 7th of April and 43 Assembly Constituencies will go to polls in this phase on 22nd of April.
The nomination process for the Seventh as well as the Eighth and Final Phase of the Assembly Elections in West Bengal, which got underway today with the issuance of notification, will continue till 7th of April and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 8st of April. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 12th of April. In all, 36 Assembly Constituencies will go to polls in the Seventh Phase on 26th of April while remaining 35 Assembly Constituencies will go to polls in the Eighth Phase on 29th of April. The counting of votes will be taken up together on 2nd of May.