New Delhi: The Election Commission is expected to announce the poll dates for elections to five state assemblies – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand – in a short while on Wednesday.
The announcement in this regard will be made by Dr Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner of India.
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.
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.
Punjab is expected to witness a three-corner fight among ruling Akali Dal and BJP alliance, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
In Goa, while BJP is eyeing to retain power, the ruling party is locked in a triangular contest with Congress and AAP.
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.
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.
As announced by the ECI, 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 now 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.
Source: Zee News