Indian EC announces election schedule for 5 states, 1st phase from 10 Feb

New Delhi, January 09 (KMS): The Election Commission of India has announced election schedules for five states, Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and UP.

The election will be completed in seven phases and first will begin from 10 February. Counting of votes will take place on March 10.

The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sushil Chandra addressing a news conference in New Delhi said the first phase will begin from 10 February and counting will take place on 10 March, 2022. Uttar Pradesh will go to poll in 7 phases from 10th Feb to 7th March, he added.

He said, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa to vote on 14th February and Manipur to vote on 27th Feb and 3 March, adding elections in Manipur will take place in two phases.

The Chief Election Commissioner said, no roadshows, padyatras, cycle or bike rallies and processions shall be allowed till 15th January; situation to be reviewed and fresh instructions to be issued later

He said, “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 complaint, ECI officials will reach the place of offence.”

He said all election officials and employees will be considered as frontline workers and all eligible officers will be vaccinated with ‘precautionary dose’.

Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into effect immediately from 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.

It is mandatory 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.

EVMs and VVPATs will be utilized in all the polling stations. The Election Commission has already made arrangements to ensure an adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs for the smooth conduct of elections.

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

More than 18 crore voters, including over 8.5 crore women, will be eligible to vote in five state assembly polls.

The year 2022 will also see Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat going to the polls. The elections will be a litmus test for the ruling BJP, which is in government in four of the five states going to polls in the next few months.

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