The next set of crucial state polls — Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry — is likely to be held in April-May next year and will finish “well before May 24”, Election Commission (EC) sources told.
This rules out any possibility of delaying polls in Tamil Nadu in the wake of the recent floods.
“At this point, we are not considering any delay in the poll schedule as we are confident that the election machinery will be in place and much of the state would have recovered from the floods by then,” said a senior EC official, who did not wish to be identified. “Moreover, there is no such request yet from the state government or MPs.”
Poll officers pointed to the successful conduct of elections in Jammu and Kashmir last year just months after a similar calamity had hit the state. The then state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had asked for the elections to be postponed.
The EC kickstarted its preparations for the coming assembly polls with a visit to West Bengal this month. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioners Achal Kumar Jyoti and O P Rawat are going to Assam on Monday. The remaining visits will be wrapped up in the next two to three weeks, after which the poll panel will decide the final schedule.
Of the states going to polls, the term of the Tamil Nadu assembly ends first (May 23) and Assam last (June 6).