New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Of the 30 Assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. The voting hour has been increased by one hour in view of COVID-19. The counting of votes will be held on May 2, the commission said.
The Congress-led government in the Union Territory fell before completing its five-year term under the Chief Minister V Naraynawamy.
Narayanasamy had resigned on February 22 ahead of a floor test in the 33-member House (including three nominated) following the resignations of five Congress and one Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) legislators. On February 23, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his council of ministers.
Kiran Bedi was replaced as Puducherry L-G with Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan being given the additional charge of the Union Territory.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, Congress had won 15 seats, All India NR Congress eight seats, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) got four seats, DMK walked away with two MLAs. BJP could not win any seats.
In the 2019 general elections, Dr Narayanasamy Kesavan of Congress won the single-seat from the Union Territory.
This year, BJP president of the Puducherry unit, V Saminathan is trying hard to woo voters with the help of the party's central leadership.
On February 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the development of Minor Port at Puducherry under Sagarmala Scheme. He also inaugurated the Blood Centre at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, which will function as a research laboratory and a training centre for the short- term and continuous blood bank personnel training in all aspects of transfusion.
Rahul Gandhi visited Puducherry on February 17 and addressed fishermen in the neighbouring Solai Nagar in the Muthialpet assembly constituency and interacted with students of the Bharathidasan Government College for women.
Puducherry Lt Governor today announced a 2 percent reduction in VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel in the union territory before the announcement of dates by ECI.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has said that the commission would ensure free, fair, inducement-free and COVID-19-safe elections. Of the 30 seats that will go to polls, 5 are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), he said.
After the Bihar assembly elections, which were held in November 2020, elections to Tamil Nadu along with three other states and Puducherry will also be held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Election Commission has issued a protocol for voting. All poll officials will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before elections for five assembly polls, the commission said.
Central Armed Police Forces would be deployed and also special observers from other states would be nominated for monitoring the expenses during the assembly elections. (ANI)