The Election Commission declared the schedule for assembly elections in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today. The term of these assemblies is to end in April and May. The declaration was made by the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi at a press conference. He was accompanied by Election Commissioners Om Prakash Rawat and AK Joti. The total number of seats that will be contested in the upcoming elections in the 5 states are 824, responsible for almost 17 crore voters The election commission also introduced the symbol for NOTA while announcing the forthcoming elections. The polls will take place from 4 April to 16 May. The counting will take place 19 May. The Election Commission (EC) introduced a symbol for None of the Above (NOTA) option to facilitate voters in exercising their NOTA option in elections in 2014. The Election Commission of India announced that the polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on May 16. The polling in West Bengal is expected to be completed in 6 phases. Polling in Assam will take place in 2 phases; the first polling phase will take place on 4th April, and the second on 11th April. With these elections, the election commission has put the model code of conduct in effect with immediate effect. This means that the State and Centre governments in these 5 states cannot make announcements regarding policies to strengthen their voters banks. The poll panel also said that special polling booths for visually challenged, leprosy-affected and ramps for disabled in all stations will be provided.