New Delhi: The Election Commission has begun announcing the poll dates for elections to five state assemblies – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand – on Wednesday.
Dr Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner of India, is addressing the press conference in the national capital at the moment.
Here are the LIVE updates:-
-Expenses above Rs 20,000 have to be out of bank accounts to be set up and it has to be through cheques: ECI
-There will be strict expenditure monitor mechanism to curb black money: CEC Nasim Zaidi
-Kiosks/bastas set up by candidates will be deemed to be set up by candidates, to be included in election exp. by candidates: CEC
-Sound pollution is a concern, no use of loudspeakers after 10 pm. Police and electoral officers will ensure clampdown on it: CEC.
-ECI discourages use of environmentally hazardous material in Assembly Elections campaigns: CEC Nasim Zaidi
-The limit for expenses for candidates is Rs 28 lakh for UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand & Rs 20 lakh for Manipur and Goa: ECI
-Polling station-wise mapping of Persons with Disabilities being done; Assembly Elections to be Persons with Disabilities-friendly: CEC
-Model code of conduct comes into immediate effect: Election Commission
-All women-managed polling stations would be set up: CEC
-Candidates will be required to affix photo on nomination papers, he will be required to mention that he is citizen of India: ECI
-ECI to distribute Voters’ Guide to facilitate voters; there will be voters Assistance booth manned by officials: CEC Nasim Zaidi
-1.85 lakh polling stations to be in operation for Assembly Elections to the five states: CEC Nasim Zaidi
-Every polling station will have 4 posters for voting procedure and dos and don’ts: Nasim Zaidi, ECI
-Nearly 100% voters have Electoral photo ID Card: CEC Nasim Zaidi
-Commission will introduce photo voter list. There will be complete accountability of distribution of photo voter list: CEC Nasim Zaidi
Height of voting compartments has been raised to 30 inch for secrecy: Nasim Zaidi, ECI
-Electoral roll of Goa will be published on Jan 5, Manipur on Jan 12, Punjab Jan 5, Uttarakhand on Jan 10 and UP on Jan 12: CEC Nasim Zaidi.
-There will be complete accountability of photo voter slips, colourful voter guides will be distributed to each family: Nasim Zaidi, ECI
-Nearly 160 million voters will be participating in the polls: ECI.
Goa has 40 assembly seats, Manipur has 60, Punjab has 117, Uttarakhand has 70 while Uttar Pradesh has 403.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly term ends on May 27. Assemblies in Punjab, Goa and Manipur are completing their term on March 18 while the Uttarakhand Assembly’s term is up to March 26.
The assembly polls in UP will be held in seven phases.
In 2012, elections to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly were held in seven phases. from February 8 to March 3, and the poll schedule was announced on December 24, 2011.
In Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) will fight with Mayawati’s BSP, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to retain power.
The assembly polls in Punjab will be held in single phase on 4 Feb.
Punjab is expected to witness a three-corner fight among ruling Akali Dal and BJP alliance, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The assembly polls in Goa will be held in single phase on 4 Feb.
In Goa, while BJP is eyeing to retain power, the ruling party is locked in a triangular contest with Congress and AAP.
The assembly polls in Uttarakhand will be held on Feb 15 in single phase.
The hilly state, which witnessed political instability for weeks, is being currently ruled by Congress. State’s Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who is under scanner over sting CD case, is confident of retaining power in the state, however, infighting in Congress party and the main opposition BJP could make things worse for him.
Owing to poor law and order situation due to the on-going road blockade by some Naga groups, the poll body may conduct assembly polls in Manipur in two phases. One of the highlights of polls in this northeastern state will be Irom Sharmila, who fasted for 16 years to demand the repeal of AFSPA. Sharmila will take on Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in assembly polls.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission held a meeting with Chief Electoral Officers of the five poll-bound states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa to fine tune the arrangements.
The law and order situation in Manipur due to the on-going road blockade by some Naga groups was also discussed.
Central security forces will be deployed in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur to conduct fair elections.
The Code of Conduct for elections will come into force after the formal announcement of the poll dates by the ECI.
The Election Commission normally gives 21 days to the political parties for campaigning after the elections are announced.
The candidates will get two weeks for filing the nominations.