In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for the forthcoming Assam assembly elections, the highest number of voters at a polling booth has been reduced to 1,000, said Sunil Arora, the Chief election commissioner (CEC), who is now in poll-bound Assam. He said that there will be more than 33 thousand polling stations.

In Guwahati, at a press meet, Arora declared, “In view of Covid-19 social distancing norms, the Commission has specifically revisited some extant norms. As a result, the maximum number of electors at a polling station has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000. Accordingly for Assam, the number of polling stations would go up by about 5,000 and are likely to be more than 33,000 for the forthcoming elections.”

This year with the other three states and a Union territory, Assam will also go to polls in April-May. After last year’s Bihar election in October-November, and also in this year, this will be the first election. Amid the ongoing Covid situation, the Election Commission of India (ECI) last year, conducted the first significant polls under several special guidelines, which was the Bihar assembly elections.

For a three-day visit, the CEC-led delegation arrived in Assam. On Wednesday, the EDI noted in a press note that an in-depth review of Assam’s poll preparedness was conducted by the delegation with a host of officials during his visit and he also met political parties’ representatives.

“Main points raised by political parties included a request to the Commission to keep in view the dates for the Bihu festival while deciding election schedule,” the note added. The current ruling party of the northeastern state is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which came into power in 2016 by defeating the ruling party of then, the Congress. The CM of Assam is BJP’s Sarbananda Sonowal.

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