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Assembly Election dates in 5 States announced ; Polling in 5 states on March 7 and counting on March 10

Recently ECI Election Commision of India reviewed poll preparedness for the forthcoming Assembly Elections in Manipur on 5th January 2022. The Commission held virtual meeting with Representatives of Political Parties, Chief Secretary, DGP, State Police Nodal Officer & CEO Manipur

The Election Commission held a press conference and announced dates for Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand today afternoon at 3:30 pm.

Election Commission of India said that Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be held in seven phases, Manipur Assembly elections will be held in two phases and in Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand it will be held in a single phase.

UP to hold elections in seven phases, Phase I – 10 February Phase II – February 14 Phase III – February 20 Phase IV – February 23, Fifth Phase-27 February 6th Phase – 3rd March and Seventh Phase-7 March

First of seven phases in Uttar Pradesh Election 2022 will be held on February 10. Seventh phase elections will be held on March 7. Punjab , Uttarakhand and Goa elections will be held in one phase, for which polling will be held on February 14. At the same time, Manipur Election 2022 will be held in two phases.

Polling in five states will end on March 7 and counting will take place on March 10.

Election Commission was briefed by the government on the Covid situation, and particularly the threat posed by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Today morning 1.41 lakh new cases up 21 percent were reported from yesterday.

Threat over the virus spreading further increased after political parties held mega rallies in poll-bound states. These rallies are attended by hundreds of thousands (many without face masks) and without social distancing norms for such events, which are understandably difficult to control.

On Friday top officials from the Election Commission and the Health Ministry met in capital city Delhi to discuss polling and the Covid situation. Among the measures discussed was double vaccination of all poll workers and voters.

Officials also met last week to discuss other measures, including extending voting times by an hour and setting up extra polling booths in UP – India’s most populous state – to ensure social distancing.

These and other measures were to be enforced ahead of (and during) elections in Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and other states in polls held last year, but Covid cases in these states spiked anyway.

Last month the Allahabad High Court in UP had asked the Election Commission and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer polls by a couple of months in light of the Omicron threat.

The Uttarakhand High Court has also expressed concern; it recently asked if rallies could be held virtually, and people could vote online.

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