Sunday 23 January 2022
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Election dates announced for 5 states

The Uttar Pradesh election, to be held in seven phases, will begin on 10 February; Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will vote on the 14th and Manipur on 27 February

The of India (ECI) today announced the schedule for assembly elections in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. The elections are to be held for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra said today at a press conference.

The Uttar Pradesh election will begin on 10 February. The politically crucial state’s 403 constituencies are distributed across seven broad regions — West UP (44 constituencies), Ruhelkhand (52), Doab (73), Awadh (78), Bundelkhand (19), East UP (76) and North East UP (61) They will go to the polls in seven phases.

  • 1st phase – 10 February
  • 2nd phase – 14 February
  • 3rd phase – 20 February
  • 4th phase – 23 February
  • 5h phase – 27 February
  • 6th phase – 3 March
  • 7th phase – 7 March

Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will vote on 14 February.

Manipur will vote on 27 February.

More than 18 crore voters, including over 8.5 crore women, will be eligible to vote in five state assembly polls, the CEC said. “We aim to conduct Covid-safe elections in five states with maximum voter participation with extensive preparations,” he said.

Under the new Covid-19 protocol, senior citizens above 80 years of age, people with disabilities and also Covid-19 can vote by postal ballot, the commission said.

Women election staff will manage at least one polling booth in every assembly constituency. The ECI wishes to encourage women voters, the CEC said.

All polling stations will be equipped with Covid-mitigation facilities including sanitisers and masks; the number of booths has increased, the ECI said.

EVMs and VVPATs will be utilised in all the polling stations. “The ECI has already made arrangements to ensure an adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs for the smooth conduct of elections,” the CEC said in Delhi.

The model code of conduct has come into effect immediately after the announcement of the schedules. The ECI has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of the guidelines. Any violation of these guidelines will be strictly dealt with, the CEC warned.

“Our cVIGIL (mobile) application should be used by voters to report any incident of violation of the model code of conduct, distribution of money and freebies. Within 100 min of complaint, ECI officials will reach the place of the offence,” the CEC said.

“Article 172(1) of the constitution gives a period of a maximum of 5 years to a state assembly. Holding timely elections is the essence of democratic and this task has been given to ECI,” the commission said.

“All election officials and employees will be considered as frontline workers and all eligible officers will be vaccinated with ‘precautionary doses’,” Chandra said.

The CEC announced that no roadshows, padayatras, cycle or bike rallies and processions shall be allowed till 15 January. “The situation will be reviewed and fresh instructions issued later,” said the CEC.

The ECI has consulted health experts to ensure Covid-safe elections. “The polling time in all five states will be increased by an hour,” the CEC said.

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