Election Commission to announce poll dates for UP, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand today

The Election Commission will on Wednesday announce the poll dates for elections to five state assemblies – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand. A press conference will be held at noon where Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi will announce a list of dates including the last date of filing nominations, when each state will vote, phases, if any, and the day of counting.

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 the focus.

The Election Commission is likely to hold a seven-phase poll in Uttar Pradesh and single-phased polling in the four other states. However, with the on-going blockade situation in Manipur, the Commission may go in for multiple phases in the north-eastern state.The terms of the legislative assembly of Goa, Manipur and Punjab are due to expire on March 18 while that of Uttarakhand expires on March 26. The legislative term of Uttar Pradesh ends on May 27.In December last year, the Election Commission had written to the state government and state education boards to frame their election schedule in consultation with the Election Commission.

Goa has 40 assembly seats, Manipur has 60, Punjab has 117, Uttarakhand has 70 while Uttar Pradesh has 403.The Union Home Ministry will provide around 85,000 security personnel for deployment in the upcoming assembly elections in the five states. Top officials of the Ministry led by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi conveyed that it would provide around 750 companies of paramilitary forces for smooth conduct of the election process in the five states.

In addition, around 100 companies, most of which belong to State Armed Police Forces and India Reserve Battalions, will also be drawn from different states for deployment of election duties.
The model code of conduct comes into effect immediately after the press conference.

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