New Delhi: Election Commission announced schedule for assembly elections to 5 states. There are total 690 seats of assembly elections in five states. EC has total electors above 18 crore in 5 states. 24.9 lakh first time electors.
Here are the terms of expiry of assemblies in five poll-bound states:
Goa: March 15, 2022 Manipur: March 19, 2022 Uttarakhand: March 23, 2022 Punjab: March 23, 2022 Uttar Pradesh: May 14, 2022.
EC has been working towards Covid-free elections. New covid protocols will be in place for polls said CEC Sushil Chandra. EC has reduced Number Of Voters Per Polling Booth. Only 1,250 people will be allotted per booth. Covid positive voters can cast postal ballot.
At least one polling booth in each assembly constituency will be exclusively managed by women personnel to encourage women voters. All polling stations will be equipped with Covid-mitigation facilities including sanitisers and masks; Number of booths increased EC has stated.
Polling staff should be double vaccinated. Staff is considered as frontline workers and will be provided with precautionary dose. Polling time has been increased by one hour.
Candidates can file online nomination.
24.9 lakh first-time electors are registered in the 5 states including Uttar Pradesh.
As Covid cases soared in view of Omicron variant, ECI held meetings with Union Health Secretary & Home Secretary, experts, & health secretaries of States. After taking these views & ground situation, ECI has decided to announce polls with safety norms in place says CEC Sushil Chandra
CEC has stated that their priority is covid safe polls. "We aim to conduct Covid-safe elections in five states with maximum voter participation with extensive preparations," the Election Commission has said.
Elections to be held for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa. More than 18 crore voters, including over 8.5 crore women, will be eligible to vote in 5 state assembly polls says CEC Sushil Chandra.
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: CEC Sushil Chandra in Delhi.
"Model Code of Conduct 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," says CEC.
Further he stated that, 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.
Election Commission has asked parties to conduct virtual campaigns. They have not permitted any physical rallies till January 15. They have also asked to avoid victory processions after results. Parties to provide masks and follow covid protocols for physical rallies. CEC Sushil Chandra announced that the situation to be reviewed and fresh instructions to be issued later.
The commission has asked to take opinion of health experts taken to ensure Covid-safe elections.
Polls will be held in phases.
Phases Of Polling
Uttar Pradesh first phase on 10th Feb, Second on 14th Feb, Third on 20th Feb, Fourth On 23rd Feb, Fifth on 27th Feb, Sixth on 3rd March, Seventh on 7th March.
Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa polling will be held in single phase on Feb 14th.
Manipur will vote on 27th Feb and 3rd March.
Election counting will be starting from 10th March.