New Delhi: The process of filing nominations for the Third Phase of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and the Single-Phase Elections in Punjab will begin with the issuance of notification tomorrow. Uttar Pradesh is going to polls in seven phases from 10th of February to 7th of March.
The Third Phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh will be conducted on 20th of February in 59 Assembly Constituencies from 16 districts including 15 ACs reserved for the Scheduled Castes. These districts include Hathras, Kanshiram Nagar (Kasganj), Etah, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur Nagar, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur district. In addition, the Single-Phase polling in Punjab will be held simultaneously. All the 117 Assembly Constituencies in the state will go to polls together in this phase.
During the UP Third Phase and the Single-Phase polling in Punjab, the nominations can be filed till 1st of February and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 2nd of February. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 4th of February. Total 2,15,75,430 electors will be eligible to exercise their franchise during the Third Phase in Uttar Pradesh. They include 1,16,12,010 male, 99,62,324 female and 1,096 third gender voters.
Punjab has total 2,13,88,764 electors including 2,12,75,066 general and 1,13,698 service voters. The number of PwD voters is 1,44,667. It also includes 1,11,87,857 male, 1,00,86,514 female and 695 third gender voters. The total strength of the house is 117 out of which 34 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes.
Meanwhile, the picture of the electoral contests in the First Phase of UP Assembly Elections will become clear on Thursday which is the last day for withdrawal of candidature. In this phase, 58 Assembly Constituencies including nine reserved for the Scheduled Castes will go to polls on 10th of February. These constituencies are from eleven districts of Shamali (Prabuddh Nagar), Meerut, Hapur (Panchsheel Nagar), Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar, and Mathura.
The Second Phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh will be conducted on 14th of February in 55 Assembly Constituencies from nine districts including nine ACs reserved for the Scheduled Castes. They include Saharanpur, Bijnor, Amroha (J.P. Nagar), Moradabad, Bareilly, Rampur, Sambhal (Bhim Nagar), Budaun and Shahjahanpur district. In addition, the Single-Phase polling in two states Goa and Uttarakhand will be held simultaneously. Forty seats in Goa and 70 seats in Uttarakhand will go to polls together in this phase.
During the UP Second Phase and the Single-Phase polling in the two states, the nominations can be filed till 28th and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 29th of January. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 31st of January. Total 2,01,42,441 electors will be eligible to exercise their franchise during the Second Phase in Uttar Pradesh. They include 1,07,61,476 male, 93,79,704 female and 1,261 third gender voters.
Goa has total 11,56,762 electors including 11,56,464 general and 298 service voters. The total number also includes 9,643 Persons with Disabilities. It also includes 5,62,500 male, 5,93,960 female and four third gender voters. The total strength of the house is 40 out of which one seat is reserved for the Scheduled Castes.
Uttarakhand has total 82,38,187 electors including 81,43,922 general and 94,265 service voters along with 68,478 PwD voters. The total strength of the house is 70 out of which 13 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and two seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.
In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases of Omicron variant across the country, the Election Commission has laid focus on COVID-safe elections with maximum participation. It is going to ensure the safety of vote and voters as both are equally and critically important in democracy.
The Election Commission has extended ban on physical rallies and road shows till 31st of this month. After taking a comprehensive review of the prevailing situation with respect to status and projected trends of COVID pandemic in the five poll-bound states, the commission decided that no road show, Padayatra, cycle or bike or vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till the end of this month.
The poll body said, since contesting candidates for the First Phase of elections will be finalized on 27th of this month, it has been decided to allow physical meetings of concerned political parties or contesting candidates in designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 persons or 50 percent of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by State Disaster Management Authorities, whichever is lesser, from 28th of January till 8th of February excluding the silence period.
It said, since contesting candidates for the Second Phase will be finalized on 31st of this month, physical meetings of concerned parties or contesting candidates with public will be allowed with similar restrictions from 1st of February till 12th of February excluding the silence period.
The Election Commission has also allowed video vans for publicity with usual COVID restrictions at designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 viewers or 50 per cent of the capacity or the limit set by SDMA, whichever is lesser, in the poll-going states subject to public convenience and no hindrance to smooth flow of traffic.
The poll body said, political parties and contesting candidates shall ensure the compliance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour and guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections. All remaining restrictions contained in the Revised Broad Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, 2022 issued on 8th of January will continue to operate. All concerned State and District Authorities shall ensure full compliance with these instructions.
Political parties have been advised to conduct their campaign through digital mode as much as possible. Maximum of ten persons will be allowed for door-to-door election campaigns by candidates. If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no further permission will be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies or meetings.
The Election Commission has already announced an increase in the broadcast time allotted to recognized political parties on Doordarshan and All India Radio during these elections.
Meanwhile, the electoral campaign has picked up momentum for the first two phases and the Star Campaigners and prominent leaders of various political parties are busy in door-to-door canvassing as well as virtual appeals to the voters. The political activities have already begun in other poll-bound states with the majority of activists seeking candidature from the main political parties and party leaders deliberating in marathon meetings to finalize their electoral strategies and formations even while giving shape to the lists of candidates.