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Polls in 5 States from Feb 10; to be held in 7 phases

BL New Delhi Bureau | | | Updated on: Jan 08, 2022
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Decision taken after due consultation, all Covid protocols will be followed: CEC

The Election Commission on Saturday announced polls for five Assemblies from February 10 while underlining that holding of the elections despite the Omicron-driven Covid-19 surge is essential to maintain “democratic governance”.

Addressing the media here, Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), said that elections will be held in seven phases for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand, 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa.

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

The polls will start from February 10 with the first phase in UP and the last phase of polling will be on March 7. The counting of votes will be on March 10.

 

Covid-safe election

The CEC said all election rallies are banned till January 15. No victory procession will be allowed after the results. “We will monitor on January 15 and review the situation on what is the condition of the surge in Covid cases...then accordingly decide on other Covid protocols on January 16,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country reported 1,41,986 Covid-19 cases on Saturday with 285 deaths in the last 24 hours till 8:00 am. The cases increased by 21.25 per cent over the previous day’s infections of 1,17,100. The country’s active caseload was at 4,72,169, constituting 1.34 per cent of the total positive cases.

When asked about the surge in the cases and why not delay or postpone the elections, Chandra said: “The maximum number of cases are in Maharashtra, followed by Delhi and Karnataka. But have you heard more cases in these polling States?...most of the people are double vaccinated, and those who are eligible for booster shot, we will encourage them to take the jab,” Chandra said.

He mentioned that on the recommendation of the EC, the Health Ministry has issued orders on February 8, 2021, that all election officials and employees will be treated as frontline workers and all eligible officials shall be given a precautionary booster dose accordingly.

 

Election schedule

In UP, the polling dates will be February 10, 14, 20, 23 and 27 and March 3 and 7. In Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa, the polling will be conducted only in a single phase on February 14. And, in Manipur, it will be held in two phases – on February 27 and March 3.

 

Published on January 08, 2022

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