As political parties have been gearing up for Assembly elections, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena has announced that polls may be held before April 30.
While it had been earlier proposed that the elections would be held in two phases, it will now likely be held in one phase. Meena told MediaOne that the decision on elections will be given by February 15 or the end of the month, though there will be further clarity after a visit by the Election Commission (EC) team.
The tenure of the incumbent Left Democratic Front government, headed by the CPI(M), will end on June 1. The Pinarayi Vijayan government assumed power on May 25, 2016.
â€śThe EC team is in Assam and Bengal, and they will visit Kerala too. There is greater urgency in Assam and Bengal. That is why they are visiting those states first. An EC team will be coming to the state between January 28 and 30,â€ť he said.
According to Meena, the elections are likely to be held in different phases in different states. The Assembly elections are likely to take place first in Assam and West Bengal, followed by Kerala. "But the elections in Kerala will be held before April 30," he confirmed, adding that the election notification will come for all the states together.
Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will go to polls along with Kerala this year.
â€śWe had informed the EC that elections should be held prior to the beginning of the fasting of Ramzan (which will begin on April 15). The political parties can raise this with the EC during the official visit," said the Chief Electoral Officer.
Meena had earlier told TNM that the elections would be held in two phases as manpower requirement would be challenging due to the pandemic.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front is in the Opposition in the state, while the BJP has one MLA in the 140-member Assembly. The LDF had won in the local body polls held in December.
Watch Meena speaking on the polls.