The second phase of polling in UP will be held on February 14, third phase on February 20, fourth phase on February 23, fifth phase on February 27, sixth phase on March 3 and the final phase on March 7, chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra announced.
The results for all the states will be announced on March 10.
During the media briefing, chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra said that 18.34 crore voters, including over 8.5 crore women, will be eligible to vote in the upcoming elections.
Speaking about the challenges posed by the Covid resurgence triggered by the Omicron variant, he said that the commission aims to conduct Covid-safe elections in five states with a focus on hassle-free experience for voters and maximum voter participation.
Chandra said that in view of the Covid situation, the maximum number of electors at each polling station has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,250 and total number of polling stations has been increased (by 16%) to 2,15,368.
“All polling stations will be equipped with Covid-mitigation facilities including sanitisers, thermal screening and masks,” he said. He added that all booths will have fewer than 1,000 voters on average.
ECI has mandated that at least one polling station managed exclusively by women shall be set up in every Assembly c… https://t.co/udwHJrbma4
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The poll panel chief said that all Covid positive voters as well as those over 80 years of age and people with disabilities can cast their votes through postal ballots.
Talking about the preparation for the mega exercise, Chandra said the election machinery was gearing up for the five state assembly elections for the last six months during which a lot of advanced planning and meticulous preparation has been done.
The term of the current Uttar Pradesh assembly will end in May while those of the other four assemblies will end on different dates in March.
The EC also announced the following Covid protocols for the upcoming polls:
- No roadshow, padyatra, cycle rally or procession will be allowed till January 15
- No victory procession to be allowed after the results
- Physical rallies shall be conducted only as per Covid guidelines
- Parties must distribute masks and sanitisers to participants at such rallies
- No more than 5 people allowed for door-to-door campaign
- No political campaign from 8pm to 8am
- All election officials shall be doubly vaccinated
- All officials will be treated as frontline workers and would be given precautionary vaccine dose
- All polling booths to be fully sanitised before polling
- Polling time to be increased by an hour in all 5 states
- Parties urged to conduct campaigning through digital mode as much as possible
- Strict action to be taken in case of violation/breach of guidelines