Amid rumours of an early election, a team from the Central Election Commission team will be visiting Kerala towards the end of this month. The preliminary visit will be by the officials of the CEC followed by the visit of the full team of the CEC in the second week of February.
The tenure of the incumbent CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government will end in May.
The notifications for the election will be issued in the second half of February and the elections could happen anytime between March last week and April.
“We have already held preliminary discussions with the CEC regarding the conduct of the election. There will be more clarity after the visit of the full Election Commission team,” an official in the State Election Commission told THE WEEK.
When asked whether the election would be held in a single phase as has been the practice, the official replied that a final call is yet to be taken. “There were suggestions from district collectors that it be held in phases due to the COVID-19 scenario, as in the case of local body elections recently. But CEC is of the opinion that in small states like Kerala where there is not much law and order issues, it could be managed on a single day. Anyway, a final decision is expected after the meeting between the CEC and the SEC,'' he said.
“The CEC had earlier asked us whether the state would be ready by March for the election and we had replied that we will be ready by Feb end. But now the election dates are being discussed for the first half of April,” he added.
According to the official, the SEC has conveyed to the CEC that Ramzan observation will start on April 15 and that it is advisable that election is held before that.
Apart from Kerala, the governments of four other states—West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puduchery—are ending their tenure.
According to officials, the CEC is currently on a visit to Assam and West Bengal. The official said that CEC is expected to announce the election dates to all the five states together.