Elections in five states from February 10 to March 7; Result on March 10: EC – World Affairs SRS

Elections in five states from February 10 to March 7; Result on March 10: EC

– World Affairs SRS

in assembly elections Uttar Pradesh, UttarakhandPunjab, Manipur and Goa will go to polls in seven phases from February 10 to March 7, counting of votes will take place on March 10, the Election Commission announced on Saturday, and physical rallies and road shows have been banned till January 15 due to COVID concerns. Gave.

The elections have huge political significance with the BJP ruling in four of these five states, while it is giving a big push to capture the Congress-ruled. PunjabWhere Aam Aadmi Party is also emerging as an important player.

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, while announcing the election program emphasizing on digital and virtual modes of campaigning in view of the threat of Omicron, said that on January 15, a review of the ban on rallies, road shows, street meetings, padyatras and vehicle rallies Will.

“The physical rallies during the campaign, if permitted, need to be followed by the COVID-19 protocol after reviewing the situation,” Chandra said.

The poll panel has also banned the celebration of victory and a candidate will be allowed to accompany only two persons to collect the certificate of victory.

Asked about experts predicting the peak of the third wave of the Covid pandemic in February, when voting will take place in five of the seven phases of polling, he said the situation is very dynamic and no future dates will be available. COVID cannot predict numbers.

He also assured voters that all necessary steps are being taken to ensure “COVID safe” elections and asked them to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise as polling stations would be sanitized and polling officials will be vaccinated.

In all, elections will be held for 690 assembly seats and 18.3 crore people, including 8.5 crore women, will be eligible to vote in the five states.

Welcoming the announcement of elections, BJP President JP Nadda urged the party workers to participate in this grand celebration of democracy with all their might by adhering to the COVID related and other guidelines laid down by the election body.

BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh said that the party will contest the elections in five states with all its might and energy and form the government with a thumping majority.

Party General Secretary and Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Congress will fight strongly in these elections, it is an opportunity for the people to defeat the BJP and end unemployment, price rise and atrocities against women and Dalits.

Responding to a question on the Election Commission’s election amid a surge in COVID cases, the CEC said there is a need for “caution, no panic” and that people and parties have to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.

He also said that people are going to markets and malls and hence should come out to vote after taking precautions.

Asked about the farmers’ agitation in Punjab and the breach in the security of the Prime Minister, Chandra said the Election Commission has assessed the security and law and order situation and adequate number of paramilitary forces would be deployed in all the states.

Responding to a specific question on Punjab regarding farmers’ agitation, he said, “No election is equal, every election is different, every state is different. The Election Commission has assessed that wherever there is a perception of danger, where There is also a protest from the farmers and we have talked to the security agencies of both the state and the Center and the people posted on the international borders before deciding the program.”

In western UP and Punjab, voting in the two constituencies that will be included in the upcoming elections will be held in the first two phases on February 10 and February 14.

In politically important Uttar Pradesh, polling for 403 assembly seats will be held east in seven phases from February 10 to March 7, starting from the western region.

Assembly elections are being held at a time when the BJP is facing criticism despite the withdrawal of three controversial agriculture laws.

Welcoming the announcement of the election schedule, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the BJP would return to power with an “overwhelming majority”. On the other hand, BSP President and former Chief Minister Mayawati demanded to stop the tendency of the ruling party to violate the model code of conduct and for proper protection of voting rights of all citizens.

With the announcement of elections, the model code of conduct has come into force in five states.

Manipur’s 60 assembly seats will go to polls in two phases on February 27 and March 3, while Goa (40 seats), Punjab (117 seats) and Uttarakhand (70 seats) will vote on February 14.

“If the COVID protocol is not followed, the commission will not hesitate to stop the parties from further rallies,” Chandra said.

The Election Commission has also laid down strict COVID guidelines for the elections.

It has also limited the number of people for door-to-door campaigns to five and asked political parties to provide masks, hand sanitisers to people attending rallies, Chandra said.

The Election Commission said that it has asked the chief secretaries of the poll-bound states to expedite the vaccination campaign.

Some of these states including Goa are seeing an increase in the cases of Kovid.

Chandra said, ‘More than 15 crores have received the first dose, more than nine crores in five states have received both the doses.’

He said that the Election Commission has also doubled the telecast time on Doordarshan for political parties.

Chandra, who was accompanied by Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, said parties and candidates have been advised to conduct their campaigns on virtual and digital mode as much as possible.

He also said that there would be zero tolerance for misuse of money power and government machinery by any party or candidate, while there would be strict vigil against hate speech and fake news including social media.

Asked whether the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1 and the President’s address in both the Houses of Parliament before that would create an atmosphere of equality, Chandra said the Election Commission would not want to interfere in the presentation of the budget as it is a prescribed procedure. Is. This is for the entire country, not just the five electoral states.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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