Assembly election 2022: EC announces poll dates for 5 states; seven phases in UP, counting on 10 March

Uttarakhand, Goa and Punjab will go to polls in one phase on 14 February. Elections in Uttar Pradesh will be conducted in seven phases from 10 February to 7 March. Manipur will have two phased-polls in 27 February and 3 March

FP Staff January 08, 2022 17:43:31 IST
Assembly election 2022: EC announces poll dates for 5 states; seven phases in UP, counting on 10 March

No political parties will be allowed to hold physical road shows, rallies and procession till 15 January in view of COVID-19 situation, said the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra.

The Election Commission on Saturday announced the poll schedule for Assembly elections in Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

No political parties will be allowed to hold physical roadshows, rallies and processions till 15 January in view of the COVID-19 situation, said Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra.

He said the poll authority will review the COVID-19 situation on 15 January and take a further call on allowing public rallies.

Uttarakhand, Goa and Punjab will go to polls in one phase on 14 February. Elections in Uttar Pradesh will be conducted in seven phases from 10 February to 7 March. Manipur will have two-phased polls on 27 February and 3 March.

Counting of votes will take place on 10 March, said the election commissioner

"As COVID-19 cases have risen in view of the Omicron variant, ECI held meetings with Union Health Secretary, Home Secretary, experts and health secretaries of States. After taking these views and ground situation, ECI decided to announce polls with safety norms in place," said the CEC.

He was flanked by election commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey.

Chandra said at least 18.34 crore electors, including service voters, will be voting this year in the five states. Of these, 8.55 crore are women voters.

Meanwhile, 24.9 lakh first-time voters are registered in all the states.

"Senior citizens above 80 years of age, persons with disabilities and COVID-19 patients can vote by postal ballot," said the CEC.

Some of the factors considered by the EC for the state elections were — COVID-19 safe and hassle-free election with maximum voter participation.

The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in the five states with the announcement of elections.

The term of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly ends in May while the terms of the Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, and Punjab end in March.

Punjab

In Punjab, Congress is seeking to retain power after a leadership crisis triggered by the spat between Navjot Sidhu and ex-Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who resigned and set up the Punjab Lok Congress. Singh's party forged an alliance with the BJP for the 2022 state polls.

Phase 1: 14 February, Monday

Uttar Pradesh

Elections to be held for 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. Winning the polls in UP is crucial for the BJP, which faces a keen challenge from Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. The UP election is also an indicator of how the BJP might perform in the 2024 general election as the state sends the highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Phase 1: 10 February, Thursday
Phase 2: 14 February, Monday
Phase 3: 20 February, Sunday
Phase 4: 23 February, Wednesday
Phase 5: 27 February, Sunday
Phase 6: 3 March, Thursday
Phase 7: 7 March, Monday

Goa

In Goa, the ruling BJP is facing anti-incumbency and challenge from the Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, in addition to the Congress.

Phase 1: 14 February, Monday

Uttarakhand

In Uttarakhand, BJP will also be challenged by Congress and AAP. In 2020, the ruling party was forced to change the chief minister twice in less than two months.

The resignation of Tirath Singh Rawat as chief minister in July 2021 and the appointment of Pushkar Singh Dhami as the new leader of Uttarakhand highlighted the failure of the BJP to provide a stable government in the state where it has got an overwhelming strength of 57 MLAs in a 70-member Assembly. Rawat was in office for only 114 days.

Phase 1: 14 February, Monday

Manipur

In the last Assembly polls in Manipur, the Congress won 28 seats in the 60-member Assembly, but the BJP formed the government after support from three regional parties.

On Friday top officials from the Election Commission and the Health Ministry met in Delhi to discuss polling and the COVID-19 situation, news agency PTI reported. Among the measures discussed was the double vaccination of all poll workers and voters.

Phase 1: 27 February, Sunday
Phase 2: 3 March, Thursday

In December, last month, the Allahabad High Court had asked the Election Commission and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer polls by a couple of months in light of the Omicron threat.

The Election Commission had earlier said this was the responsibility of individual state governments, and that it could not act until the Model Code is enforced.

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