India

Election declared amid third wave

New Delhi. Even the third wave of corona virus could not stop the assembly elections. In the midst of the third wave, the Election Commission has announced assembly elections in five states. Voting in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, will begin on February 10 and will end on March 7. Counting of votes will take place on March 10. Voting will be held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh. Polling will be held in two phases in the troubled northeastern state of Manipur and in the remaining three states – Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa – in one phase on the same day. With the announcement of elections, the model code of conduct has come into force in all the five states. Out of the five states, except Punjab, there is a BJP government in the remaining four places.

The first phase of polling will be held in Uttar Pradesh on February 10 and then on February 14, 20, 23 and 27 and on March 3 and 7. Voting will be held in one phase in Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa on February 14. Manipur will go to polls in two phases on February 27 and March 3. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra announced the election dates for the five states in a press conference on Saturday. Due to the increasing cases of Corona, doubts were being raised about these elections. But the third wave of Corona could not stop the elections in five states, like the second wave could not stop the elections in West Bengal and the remaining four states.

However, while announcing the elections in five states, Sushil Chandra said that the election process will be completed following the guidelines to protect against Corona. He said that all the personnel participating in it will be compulsorily ensured the precautionary dose of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine. The Chief Election Commissioner said that facilities like sanitizers and masks etc. will be available at all the polling stations and the number of polling booths will be increased by 16 percent. The number of voters at a polling station will be 12 and a half hundred instead of one and a half thousand. One polling booth in each assembly seat will be manned entirely by women.

The term of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly is ending on May 14, while the term of Uttarakhand and Punjab Vidhan Sabha ends on March 23. The term of Goa Legislative Assembly ends on March 15 and that of Manipur Legislative Assembly on March 19. After the announcement of the elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath once again announced to form the government with an absolute majority, BSP chief Mayawati expressed hope that the Election Commission will play its role with promptness and impartiality. Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav questioned the announcement of campaigning through virtual rally and said that those who do not have the means, how will they do virtual rally. However, he also said that in this election, the people will clean the BJP.

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