Assembly elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases starting from 27 March, the Election Commission announced today.

The EC also announced Assembly election dates for three other states and one Union Territory, with elections in Assam to take place in three phases, and single-phase polling for Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry.

The counting of votes for all the Assemblies would be held on 2 May. While polling in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry would be held on 6 April, Bengal will have its elections on 27 March, 1 April, 6 April, 10 April, 17 April, 22 April, 26 April, and 29 April.

Assam will vote on 27 March, 1 April and 6 April, said Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. Mr Arora said that considering the law and order situation in Bengal, the number of phases has been increased to eight for the state’s 294 Assembly segments from seven the last time.

In total, 824 Assembly segments would go to the polls where 18.68 crore electors would exercise their franchise. Because of Covid-19, the EC has considerably increased the number of polling stations.

There will be 1,01,916 polling stations in Bengal, 88,936 in Tamil Nadu, 40,771 in Kerala and 33,530 in Assam. Assembly terms are ending on 31 May in Assam, on 30 May in Bengal, 1 June in Kerala, 8 June in Tamil Nadu and on 24 May in Puducherry, the CEC said.

Giving details of polling in Bengal, the CEC said in the first phase, polling would be held in 30 Assembly seats in Purulia (9AC), Bankura (4AC), Jhargam (4AC), West Midnapore (6AC) and East Midnapore (7AC).

The second phase covers 30 Assembly constituencies in Bankura (8AC), West Midnapore (9AC), East Midnapore (9AC), and South 24-Parganas (4AC).

The third phase covers 31 seats in Howrah (7AC), Hooghly (8 AC), South 24-Parganas (16 AC).

In the fourth phase 5 districts will go for polling ~ Howrah (9 AC), Hooghly (10AC), South 24-Parganas (11 AC), Alipurduar (5 AC) and Cooch Behar (9AC).

Fifth phase will cover six districts~North 24-Parganas (16AC), Nadia (8AC), East Burdwan (8AC), Darjeeling (5AC), Kalimpong (1AC), and Jalpaiguri (7AC).

In the sixth phase, 43 seats would go for polling in North 24-Parganas (17AC) Nadia (9 AC), East Burdwan (8AC), and North Dinajpur (9 AC).

The seventh phase covers 36 seats in Malda (6 AC), Murshidabad (11 AC), West Burdwan (9 AC), Kolkata South (4 ACs) and South Dinajpur (6 AC).

The last phase will see polling in 35 constituencies in Malda (6AC), Murshidabad (11 AC), Birbhum (11 AC), and Kolkata North (7AC).