Live news and updates on Assembly Elections 2017: Election Commission announces dates; UP to vote in 7 phases, counting on March 11

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Updated: January 4, 2017 2:07:00 PM

The election Commission on Wednesday announced the poll dates for the 5 election-bound states in the country.

Election dates announced by EC for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttrakhand and ManipurElection dates announced by EC for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur will be held between February 4 and March 8, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced on Wednesday. The results from all five states will be known on March 11, Zaidi told a press conference here. While polling in Goa and Punjab will take place on February 4, Uttarakhand will vote on February 15 and Manipur in two phases on March 4 and 8. Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, will go to the polls in seven phases: February 11, 15, 19, 23 and 27 and March 4 and 8. This will be the single biggest electoral exercise since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and will involve a total of 690 constituencies, 403 of them in Uttar Pradesh alone. Goa has 40 seats, Punjab 117, Manipur 60 and Uttarakhand has 70 seats. We take a look at the latest updates.

Also Read: Will Budget 2017 be presented on February 1? Election Commission to review with state polls in mind

1:55PM: With Punjab set to go to polls on February 4, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appealed to political parties to co-operate with the Election Commission (EC) in conducting the elections in a peaceful and fair manner. In a statement issued here today, the Chief Minister said that Punjabis have always upheld the lofty ideals of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood and hoped the glorious tradition would be maintained.

1:47PM: Punjab elections is not about big leaders, rather it is about change, says Kejriwal

1:45PM: AAP is ready even if polls are held tomorrow in Punjab, says Kejriwal

Also Read: With Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, other assembly elections in offing, EC set to launch official poll app

1:40PM: AAP to announce Punjab CM candidate only after elections, says Arvind Kejriwal

1:30PM: Elections bring challenges, parties know it, says Sheila Dikshit, Congress CM candidate in UP

1:25PM: UP election officials act like SP office bearers; important to replace them for fair elections, says KP Maurya, UP BJP President after announcement of poll dates

1:20PM: EC examining claims of different factions of Samajwadi Party on use of poll symbol, will take a view based on old practices and set principles, says Zaidi

1:15PM: The CEC said candidates will have to open a fresh bank account for all election expenses and all expenses above Rs 20,000 will be made through cheques from their respective accounts. He added that all donations will also be accepted through cheques. The maximum limit for expenses for each candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand is Rs 28 lakh, while that in Goa and Manipur is Rs 20 lakh.

Also read: Election Commission announces dates for Assembly elections 2017 in five states: 8 new things to know

1:10PM: Sidharth Nath Singh of BJP says that if election expenses come down it will be good

Here is what Captain Amarinder Singh had to say after the poll dates were announced:


1:05PM: Happy, we had requested the EC to conduct polls in single phase in Punjab. Our manifesto is very comprehensive, says Capt Amarinder Singh of Congress

1:00PM: Commission is in favour reducing limit of anonymous donations to Rs 2000 only, also mulling on whether we can switch to digital payments, says Zaidi

12:55PM: Any query on freezing of SP poll symbol is hypothetical right now. Let us first examine the documents, says Nasim Zaidi

12:52PM: EC is committed to abide by SC’s order; it will be implemented effectively: Nasim Zaidi, ECI on SC’s decision on Hindutva case

12:50PM: Commission has received one representations with regard to presentation of budget; examining it and will take call on it in due course, says Zaidi



We take a look at key polling dates in 5 states

Goa to vote on February 4
Punjab to vote on February 4
Uttarakhand to vote on February 15

Manipur to vote in 2 phases:
Phase 1: March 4
Phase 2: March 8

Uttar Pradesh to vote in 7 phases
Phase 1: Feb 11
Phase 2: Feb 15
Phase 3: Feb 19
Phase 4: Feb 23
Phase 5: Feb 27
Phase 6: March 4
Phase 7: March 8

Counting to take place on March 11 for all states

The states of Goa and Punjab are to go to polls on February 4, 2017. The 70 constituencies of Uttarakhand would go to elections of February 15, 2017. The polls in Manipur would be conducted in 2 phases. The vote for 2nd phase for 22 constituencies would happen on 8 March 2017, while the first phase polls would be conducted on March 4, 2017. It has to be remembered that the polls in Uttar Pradesh is to take place in 7 different phases.

The first phase of UP polls is to take place on 11 February 2017, while the second phase takes place on 15 February. The third phase of the polls is to take place on 19 February, while the fourth phase takes place on 23 February. The 5th phase of the UP elections is to take place on February 27, the 6th phase will happen on March 4, 2017. The last phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh would take place on March 8, 2017.

According to the Chief Election Commissioner, Nasim Zaidi, over 60 million voters are expected to vote in the elections. The EC also stated that tight security would be provided for the EVMs. 1,85,000 polling stations are also to be put to work on the days of the elections. The polls are to take place in 690 assemblies, according to the Election commission. The CEC also informed that the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.The election Commission is also to distribute the voter’s guide to facilitate voters. The CEC informed that the use of loudspeakers in campaigns would not be accepted.

The counting of the votes would be done on March 11, 2017.

The Election Commission further specified that the maximum spending limit of Rs 28 lakh in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand whereas it was Rs 20 lakh for the states of Goa and Manipur. The EC also clarified that the expenditure more than Rs 20,000 should be cashless. The EC also said that it would provide special covers to SC and ST voters.

It has been learned that Uttar Pradesh, which is set to witness game-changer elections, and four other states will go to polls simultaneously, most likely in February-March, commencing shortly after the presentation of the Union Budget. While it could be a single-day polling in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, Uttar Pradesh is likely to have as many as seven phases, according to a PTI report. While the term of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly ends in May, the terms of assemblies of Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand will end in March, 2017.
The BJP, which had swept the Lok Sabha elections more than two years ago, winning 70 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, is seeking to make a comeback by wresting power after 15 years from the ruling SP. The BSP is expected to give a stiff challenge to both of them.

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