Assembly polls to begin from March 27, D-day on May 2

Bengal, Assam Assembly elections to start from March 27, counting on May 2

The Assembly elections for Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry will be held on April 6

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

As parties prepare the battleground for crucial assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory, the Election Commission formally sounded the bugle and announced the schedule for assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry on Friday.

This year, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed because of that, the polling time has been increased by one hour.

Read | Everyone on poll duty to get Covid-19 vaccine before Assembly elections: EC 

A total of 824 Assembly constituencies shall be going for polls during these elections. 18.68 crore electors will cast vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

The term of Assam Assembly is up to May 31, that of Tamil Nadu is May 24. The term of the West Bengal Assembly ends on May 30 and that of the Kerala Assembly ends on June 1.

"Adequate CAPFs deployment shall be ensured during elections. All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed," said Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner.

Read | Assembly Elections 2021: Model Code of Conduct comes into force 

The elections for the states will begin on March 27. The counting of all the Assembly elections will take place on May 2.

The Assembly election for Assam will start on March 27 and end on April 6 and will be held in three phases.

The Assembly elections for Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry will be held on April 6.

The Assembly election for West Bengal will start on March 27 and end on April 29 and will be held in eight phases.

The terms of the legislative Assemblies of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala are ending in the coming months.

Following a political crisis in Puducherry, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday recommended the dissolution of the legislative Assembly there. The term of the Puducherry Assembly was to otherwise end in June.

West Bengal

After having a limited presence in the politically polarised Bengal for decades, the BJP has emerged as the ruling Trinamool Congress's main rival by winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal 2019 General Elections, only four short of TMC's tally of 22. With the BJP's strength increasing in the state in the last few years, its leaders are upbeat that the party will be able to end Banerjee's 10-year rule in the state polls.

Polls to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will start on March 27 and end on April 29. The elections will be conducted in eight phases.  has had words and tempers flying between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP. While Mamata has left no stone unturned in her efforts to visit different parts of the state, the BJP sent its top brass including Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to woo voters.

Tamil Nadu

Kickstarting the BJP's election campaign in poll-bound Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday mounted a blistering attack on the Congress and DMK, saying their meetings are like "corruption hackathons" where their leaders sit and 'brainstorm' on how to loot.

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has endorsed Chief Minister K Palaniswami as its CM candidate for this year's high-stakes Assembly polls. The 234-member assembly will go to polls on April 6.


In the 140-seat bound Kerala Assembly, Sabarimala, corruption and high-profile cases surrounding the Chief Minister's top leadership have been key issues. The Assembly election for Kerala will be held on April 6.

The UDF, targeting the CPI(M)-led LDF over the Sabarimala issue, has recently announced it would withdraw the cases if it came to power in the assembly polls. The LDF government's move, especially the decision to withdraw cases related to the Sabarimala issue, is generally viewed as an attempt by it to woo the devotees and Hindu community members while aiming for a second straight term in the polls.

Most recently, during his Kerala visit, Rahul Gandhi said he was used to a "different type of politics" in north India and coming to the southern state was "very refreshing," a remark, which created a major row within the Congress.


BJP-led NDA won an overwhelming majority in Assam in the last assembly elections (2016). While the Opposition has used the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as a weapon against the state BJP, the saffron party is hoping to bank on its claims of development.

The 126-member Assembly will go to polls starting from March 27 and will end on April 6. The polls will be held on three phases.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently said that BJP will make Assam flood-free if voted to power again. Claiming that BJP and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) can only solve the infiltration problem in Assam, Shah asked, "Can Congress stop infiltration when they are sitting with Badruddin Ajmal? They are sitting with Ajmal and talking about stopping infiltration. Can they stop the killing of the rhinos in Assam?" 

Senior Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that he is not willing to contest the 2021 assembly election. However, he said that if the party decides to field him to contest the poll likely to be held in March-April, he will honour the decision. 

Rahul Gandhi emphatically declared that the Congress will not implement Citizenship (Amendment) Act if voted to power in Assam, and subsequently the state unit of the party urged cadres to collect 'Gamochas' (Assamese scarf) with messages against the Act.


The spectre that has haunted the small states in the North-East and the bigger ones like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh has visited Puducherry also, resulting in the fall of the Congress-DMK government. V Narayanaswamy resigned from the post of chief minister as he lost his majority in the Assembly after a series of resignations of Congress and DMK MLAs. The crisis began after five Congress and one DMK MLA resigned, bringing down the strength of the government.

The 33-member Assembly will go to polls on April 6.

With the fall of Puducherry, Congress has lost its last fortress in South India. The President's rule has been imposed in the union territory for the first time in 30 years after no party staked claim to form the government. While the Congress had the support of 12 MLAs, the Opposition side claimed the support of 14 MLAs, including three nominated members who are BJP leaders. Congress has squarely blamed the BJP for the fall of its only government with AICC in-charge of Puducherry alleging that Union Home Minister Amit Shah threatened Congress MLAs to resign. 

The last time the UT came under Central rule was in 1991 for four months. This is the sixth time the UT will be under President's rule.

 BJP's shadow looms over Congress

Even as Congress pins hopes of gains in the upcoming Assembly polls, the goal appears too lofty to achieve.

The BJP's aggressive push in all the above states coupled with the entry of AIMIM in Bengal will challenge Congress-Left's prospects in the eastern state, while Assam will remain a tough battlefield in the presence of the incumbent BJP which is banking on multiple development project launches by the PM there.

Even in Kerala this time, Congress faces a tough road ahead despite the trends of alternate governments there. The entry of E Sreedharan on the BJP side has further queered the Kerala poll pitch. In Tamil Nadu, the late entry of Sasikala has changed all the previous calculations and increased the pressure on Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam. PM Narendra Modi has launched a series of projects to woo the voters. Congress, on the other hand, will bank on DMK chief MK Stalin's leadership to dislodge the AIADMK-BJP alliance from power.

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