In order to finalise dates of upcoming Assembly elections in five states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday.

On Friday, deputy election commissioner Sudip Jain, who is also the in-charge, will be travelling to Kolkata to take note of the preparedness and updates. During his visit, Jain will hold a series of meetings with district magistrates and police superintendents.

The numbers of polling booths are likely to increase owing to the current pandemic situation.

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The terms of the legislative assemblies of five poll-bound states, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry will come to an end either in May-June this year.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission will likely hold elections in West Bengal in seven-eight phases. In 2016, elections were held in six phases from April 4-May 5.

The EC had earlier hinted that it was keeping a close watch on the law and order situation in Bengal, as it had asked district authorities to revert with detailed reports on a regular basis. Sudeep Jain, Deputy Election Commissioner (in-charge of West Bengal) has been in constant touch with EC officials.

Meanwhile, Election Commission of India is very much concerned about the increasing Covid-19 cases in Kerala. Generally, Kerala is a single-phase poll going state. However, in context of Covid-19 cases in the state, EC to see whether to conduct elections in single phase or go for multi-phase elections.

Refusing to comment on speculation on election dates announcements, a top source in the Election Commission said “Whenever elections are announced the citizens of the country are the first to know the same through the media. This is an established practice. The EC has been scrupulously following it and the same shall be done this time also.”

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