WB, TN poll schedule announced

State Assembly elections will be held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 18:37 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Election Commission announced the schedule for state Assembly elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu in April and May.

The Election Commission made a formal announcement in this regard in a press conference at 6 pm.

Besides, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, Assembly elections are due in Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

In West Bengal, the ruling Left front is expected to face its toughest political battle after remaining in power for over three decades with an upbeat Mamata Banerjee is likely to give a tough fight.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has announced plans to tie up with the Congress with which it shares power at the Centre.

While in Tamil Nadu, the ruling DMK is facing an uphill task with the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK in the process of stitching a formidable alliance. She recently announced a pre-poll alliance with film superstar Vijayakanth’s DMDK.

The Left parties and the Vaiko-led MDMK are already in the AIADMK front.

The talks are still on between Congress and the DMK which has already brought the PMK on board.

The DMK is facing the elections in the midst of controversy over the 2G spectrum scam which forced its party nominee A Raja to quit as Telecom Minister.

In Assam, the Congress is in power for the last two terms and is unlikely to have any alliance with other parties while opposition AGP as also BJP are getting ready for the polls.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents the state in the Rajya Sabha, has already made a visit to the poll-bound state last month and announced several developmental projects in an effort to improve the party`s poll prospects.

The proposed peace talks with ULFA are also expected to give a boost to Congress.

In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF is expected to give a tough fight to the ruling LDF-led CPI(M) in view of the fact that the Congress and its allies` good show in the last Lok Sabha polls.

The Prime Minister had also made a visit to the state last month when he inaugurated several projects in the state.

In Puducherry, the Congress is in power and would be making every effort to retain it.
The Election Commission has already reviewed the law and order situation in order to ensure free and fair polls in these states.

The Commission had expressed concern over the political violence in West Bengal and had sent two teams of independent observers to review the law and order situation in the state.

The EC has tightened measures to check the growing money power in elections and gave series of instructions to the Chief Electoral Officers of the five states to check the menace such as paid news in order to provide a level playing field.

With PTI Inputs