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Elections in 5 states will be held in total seven phases, states EC

HealthElections in 5 states will be held in total seven phases, states EC

All political parties had urged the EC to conduct 2022 assembly elections in the 5 states – UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur on time.

The 2022 elections will be held from February 10 and counting will be on March 10, elections are to be conducted in five states:  Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur – on time in spite of the looming threat of the third wave of COVID plus Omicron, its new variant.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced the dates for assembly polls in five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur. Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur will expire on May 14, March 23, March 23, March 15, March 19 respectively.

Out of these 5 poll-bound states, the BJP is in power in 4 states including Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, leaders from all the political parties are campaigning vigorously for months to bag winning states in the upcoming polls.

Voting Dates Across States

The five states will vote over seven phases starting February 10, with counting of votes scheduled for March 10.

Uttar Pradesh will vote in each of the seven phases – on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3, and March 7.

Punjab, Goa, and Uttarakhand will vote on February 14.

Manipur will vote in two phases on February 27 March 3.

A total of 690 Assembly constituencies will vote over the next two months, with the maximum in UP (403 seats) followed by Punjab (117), Uttarakhand (70), Manipur (60) and Goa (40).

COVID Protocols

COVID-19 protocols will also be announced amid the surging number of cases across India. Last week, the poll body held a meeting with the Health Ministry to discuss the current Covid situation in the five states. The Health Ministry had submitted a report on the resurgence and the status of vaccination coverage across the nation. Several political parties have already announced the cancellation of political rallies and are focusing more on digital campaigns in the wake of the unabated surge.

“Political parties and candidates are advised to conduct their campaign by digital/virtual mode” says Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commisioner

CEC Sushil Chandra Sets Out Rules and Model Code of Conduct For Elections

Sushil Chandra chalks out the course of the manner of elections to be run stating “EVMs and VVPATs will be utilized in all the polling stations. Election Commission has already made arrangements to ensure an adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs for the smooth conduct of elections. It is obligatory for political parties to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases selected as poll candidates. They will also have to give a reason to select the candidate. Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into effect immediately from the announcement of the schedules. Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of the MCC guidelines. Any violation of these guidelines will be strictly dealt with. Our cVIGIL application should be used by voters to report any incident of violation of the Model Code of Conduct, distribution of money & freebies. Within 100 minutes of the complaint, ECI officials will reach the place of the offence.

All central and state officials on election duty will be doubly vaccinated: CEC
All central and state officials on election duty will be doubly vaccinated. A precautionary dose will also be given

All polling stations to be on the ground floor.

2,15,368 polling stations to be set up. All polling stations to be on the ground floor. All polling stations to be equipped with Covid mitigating facilities like masks, gloves, sanitizers etc. Videography to be done at all sensitive booths identified by the EC.

Candidates contesting polls will be given an option for online nomination
Candidates contesting polls will be given an option for online nomination

At least one polling booth in each assembly constituency will be exclusively managed by women personnel to encourage women voters.

The poll body has zero-tolerance towards money power.

24.9 lakh first-time electors are registered in the 5 states including Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 18.34 crore electors including service voters will take part in this election out of which 8.55 crore are women electors: Chandra

A total of 18.34 crore electors including service voters will take part in this election out of which 8.55 crore are women electors,” says Chandra.

Assembly Seats Across States

Elections to be held for 403 assembly seats in UP, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa

Polling stations have been increased to 2,16,368, “All polling stations will follow Covid protocol,” says Chandra

For past two years, Covid has made conducting elections challenging: CEC
690 assembly constituencies to go for polls. “For the past two years, Covid has made conducting elections challenging,” he said.

Protection and Security

Our duty is to protect both vote and voter, says CEC Sushil Chandra

UP is to get 150 CAPF companies in the first phase for polls.

In view of the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, a total of 150 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel are being provided to the state by the Centre in the first phase, officials said. These include 50 companies of the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF), 30 companies each of the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and 20 companies each of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border (ITBP). One company of CAPF generally has around a hundred personnel.

A senior Uttar Pradesh police officer said the 150 companies are being provided by the Centre in the first phase from January 10 with the objective of conducting elections in a fair and efficient manner as also to reduce the sensitivity and vulnerability around polls

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