New Delhi: The Election Commission will announce dates for Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand at 3.30 pm, a statement from the top polling body has said.
Sources from the commission have stated that Uttar Pradesh might vote in six to eight phases. Punjab will be voting in two to three phases. Manipur will be having two phase elections. Goa and Uttarakhand will be voting in one phase.
In the last conference, all the party at Uttar Pradesh wanted the elections to be held on time, even as clamour grew for banning campaigns in the wake of the Covid surge.
Last month the Allahabad High Court in UP 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 Uttarakhand High Court has also expressed concern; it recently asked if rallies could be held virtually, and people could vote online. The state has since banned all election rallies till January 16.
The poll body at the state asked the authorities to speed up vaccination process. Body also announced a slew of measures to ensure Covid safety during the polls.
While the term of the current Uttar Pradesh assembly is ending in May, those of the other four assemblies are ending on different dates in March.
On Friday top officials from the Election Commission and the Health Ministry met in Delhi to discuss polling and the Covid situation, news agency PTI reported.
Among the measures discussed was double vaccination of all poll workers and voters.
Officials also met last week to discuss other measures, including extending voting times by an hour in Uttar Pradesh (India's most populous state) to ensure social distancing.