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ECI announces schedule for assembly poll dates for five states; Get full details here


New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the schedule for the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Elections will be held for 403 assembly seats in UP, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa, in seven phases, starting on February 10 in Uttar Pradesh. All results will be announced on March 10.


UP 2nd phase, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa polls will be held on 14th February. UP third phase of polling is on Feb 20, fourth phase on Feb 23, fifth phase on 27th feb, sixth phase on 3rd March and 7th phase will be held on 7th March. Manipur will go on polls first phase on Feb 27th and second phase on March 3.


The Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said that ECI held meetings with Union Health Secretary & Home Secretary, experts, & health secretaries of States, amid the surge in Covid cases and Omicron scare in the country. After taking these views & ground situation, ECI decided to announce polls with safety norms in place. No roadshows, padyatras, cycle or bike rallies and processions shall be allowed till 15th January in view of Covid situation. The situation will be reviewed and fresh instructions to be issued later, CEC said.


It is mandatory for political parties to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases selected as poll candidates and as to why this particular candidate was selected, CEC said. The election commission also announced that at least one polling station exclusively for women is mandatory in every assembly constituency. He also said that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into effect immediately from announcement of the schedules.


‘We aim to conduct Covid-safe elections in five states with maximum voter participation with extensive preparations. All polling stations will be equipped with Covid-mitigation facilities including sanitisers and masks; Also the number of booths have been increased’, CEC said.


Concern over the virus spreading further increased after political parties held mega rallies in poll-bound states. These rallies are attended by thousands (many without face masks) and social distancing is entirely absent for such events, which are understandably difficult to control. Citing the latest surge in Covid-19 cases, the Congress has announced that it would not hold any rallies in Uttar Pradesh and urged the PM and CM Yogi Adityanath to refrain from holding large public events in the state. Meanwhile, all public meetings and gatherings in Goa will now be limited to 50 per cent capacity for indoor venues and up to 100 people in outdoor venues, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced on Friday as the coastal state – which goes to the elections soon – recorded a steep rise in Covid-19 cases.


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