New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) can announce the schedule for Assembly elections in 5 States this week. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur are slated to go for polls. Within a few meetings, the EC may finalise the full schedule for the Assembly elections.
The EC may give a time window of 35-40 days for campaigning. After the hustings, the polls could be held in the second week of February.
Being a huge State, Uttar Pradesh may have its Vidhan Sabha election in up to 7 phases. The EC would like to be through with polling in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur on a single day or give these States a day each, सिर्फ़ News has learnt.
Further, the EC has decided to conclude the polls before the annual examinations of school-going children including those facing school graduation exams under the various State education boards and councils. To that end, it has asked these poll-bound State governments to consult it before finalising the 2017 exam dates. The Class XII exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education are normally held throughout the month of March, irrespective of the circumstances if possible.
UP elections in spotlight
Of all the 5 States, the elections in Uttar Pradesh are seen as the most important where major political rivals are rallying to showcase their strength and gain support. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) are more visible, pouring their resources and manpower into the campaign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been spearheading the BJP rallies in various districts across the State.
On the other hand, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and SP’s star campaigner Akhilesh Yadav is stressing the mantra of development as zealously. He will try to showcase the forthcoming launch of Lucknow metro, among other things, as his government’s success story. He is already using the media channels to portray Uttar Pradesh as a golden land of opportunity and development.
The supreme leader of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), Mayawati is also addressing rallies. Every party awaits eagerly the final polling dates to be declared by the EC to lock horns with rivals in what promises to be a close 3-cornered fight, with the Indian National Congress most probably playing the spoiler for many contestants of the BJP, SP and BSP and finally trying a post-poll alliance with Mulayam or Mayawati’s party.