Elections 2021 Live Updates: First phases of Bengal, Assam polls in 10 days

West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu Election 2021 Live Updates: With the first phase of Assembly elections commencing in 10 days, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up.

Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: With the first phase of Assembly elections commencing in 10 days, campaigning in four states and one Union Territory is heating up. The first phase of polls to West Bengal and Assam will be held on March 27; Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will vote subsequently.

The big news from Bengal on Tuesday included Swapan Dasgupta’s resignation from Rajya Sabha to contest from the Tarakeshwar constituency on a BJP ticket, and the Election Commission’s stern warning to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for trying to “belittle the institution with innuendos” that it was acting at the behest of one political party.

In Assam, the Congress on Tuesday declared candidates for 21 seats, taking the total number of candidates declared so far by the party to 90. Separately, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal clarified he was not in the race for the CM’s post, and that his party would always “stand for the state’s unity and development”.

In Kerala, former Congress leader PC Chacko joined Sharad Pawar’s NCP on Tuesday, and said he would visit all 14 districts over the next 18 days to campaign for the Left. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 75, has started campaigning in his seat Dharmadam, where the polls slogan is “Surely, it is LDF”. His task has been made easier by the fact that the Congress is yet to find a candidate to oppose him, and BJP’s hasn’t started canvassing.

Thol Thirumavalavan, president of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) which has allied with the DMK for the Tamil Nadu elections, told The Indian Express in an interview that BJP has no ground in the state “they have no stake in the lives of people” and “talking religion and God alone won’t help”.

Elections 2021 Live News Updates: Follow the latest news and updates from West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Assam ahead of the Assembly polls.

In India, every election has a background score — the jingles of parties in the fray, with raucous vocals, copycat tunes and thumping beats. But in West Bengal this time, it’s the stinging lyrics that are drawing the crowds for TMC, BJP and CPI(M).

Among the several jingles that have created a stir this poll season are TMC’s “Khela hobe (The game is on)”; BJP’s “Khelar mathe lorai hobe (The battle will be fought on the playground)” and “Pishi jao (Aunty, go)”; and CPI(M)’s “Tumpa, toke niye Brigade jabo (Tumpa, I will take you to the Brigade) and “Laal pherao, haal pherao (Bring back red, bring back stability)”. Koel Banerjee reports

The campaign slogan of the Left Democratic Front is strung up all across this constituency in Kannur district: “Surely, it is LDF.” But, here and elsewhere, there is one star of this campaign: and surely, it is Pinarayi Vijayan. The 75-year-old has started campaigning in his seat Dharmadam, where he is expected, of course, to sail through. The Chief Minister’s task has been made easier by the fact that the Congress is yet to find a candidate to oppose him. The BJP’s C K Padmanabhan hasn’t started canvassing. Read Shaju Philip’s ground report

Welcome to our live blog on the Assembly elections 2021. Four states and one Union Territory — West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry — will go to polls this year. Follow this blog for the latest news and updates!

Assembly Elections 2021 Schedule: West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

The election schedule for four states and one Union Territory has been announced with West Bengal voting in eight phases, Assam in three, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry together on the same day. Voting will be spread over a month between March 27 and April 29, and the results for all five Assemblies will be announced on May 2, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said.

The first phase of polling for 30 seats in West Bengal is scheduled on March 27. The second phase (30 seats) will be held on April 1, the third (31 seats) on April 6, fourth (44 seats) on April 10, fifth (45 seats) on April 17, sixth (43 seats) on April 22, seventh (36 seats) on April 26 and the final phase for remaining seats on April 29.

Voting in Assam will be spread over three phases, on March 27, April 1 and April 6, respectively. Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on April 6.

The four states and the UT of Puducherry are the first set of Assemblies to poll amidst the pandemic after the Bihar elections in October last year.

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