India's mammoth state elections: Five states to vote from Feb 10, counting on March 10

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Jan 17, 2022, 03:22 PM(IST)

File photo of EVM Machine. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Citizens will vote for a new local government, with polls in five states, including the country's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, widely regarded as a forerunner to the 2024 general election.

Next month, elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state and a vital battleground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The election in the northern state, which is currently dominated by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, is viewed as a harbinger of national elections in 2024.

In the next few months, elections will be held in the northern provinces of Punjab and Uttarakhand, as well as in the tourist mecca of Goa and the northeastern state of Manipur. 

Also read | Five crucial states of India including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh gear up for bellwether local polls

Elections would be held for 403 assembly seats in UP, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand, 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa. 

In this massive election, an estimated 184 million voters, including 85.5 million women, are anticipated to vote.

2.49 million of them are first-time voters. 

Assembly Elections Schedule: Counting day March 10

States Voting begins Voting Ends Voting Days Incumbent Party Total number of seats
Uttar Pradesh February 10 March 7 7 BJP 403
Punjab February 20 February 20 1 INC 117
Uttarakhand February 14 February 14 1 BJP 70
Manipur February 27 March 3 2 BJP 60
Goa February 14 February 14 1 BJP 40

The EC has capped the number of voters per booth at 1,250, resulting in an increase in the number of polling stations to 30,334 as the average number of voters per polling booth has decreased.

At least one booth in each Assembly constituency will be managed exclusively by women.

Candidates with criminal background

A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court, asking the court to order the Election Commission to ensure that all political parties display information on candidate criminal charges, as well as the reasons for their selection, on the home page of their official website.

Aside from the website, the petition also asks the Election Commission of India (ECI) to direct the ECI to guarantee that every politician publishes their details in electronic, print, and social media, and to bring a contempt case against the party's president if they don't. 

In light of the forthcoming assembly elections, barrister Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay filed a petition asking the ECI to issue a directive requiring every political party to explain why it chose a candidate with criminal history over one without. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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