Speaking to the media, chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi said, 'Model code of conduct comes into force with immediate effect.' Photograph:( Getty )
The election commission of India announced Wednesday the election schedule for five states going to the polls. It also said that it will implement the recent Supreme Court order barring religion, race, caste, community and language from being used at the time of elections to get votes.
The states going to the polls are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand.
ECI will ensure level playing field for inclusive, free and fair elections, by curbing muscle power and abuse of money: CEC Nasim Zaidi pic.twitter.com/QPxP22D3lF— ANI (@ANI_news) January 4, 2017
Elections in Goa and Punjab will be held on February 4, and in Uttarakhand on February 15.
Manipur will go to the polls in two phases, on March 4 and March 8.
Uttar Pradesh will go to the polls in seven phases: February 11, 15, 19; 23, 27, March 4, and March 8.
Making the announcements, chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi said, "Model code of conduct comes into force with immediate effect."
"690 legislative assemblies will go to polls. Over 16 crore voters will participate in the election. Nearly 100% voters have electoral photo id cards. There will be complete accountability of photo voter slips and colourful voter guides will be distributed to each family," he added. .
Stating that there will be a voter assistance booth outside every polling station, Zaidi said, "The height of voting compartments has been raised to 30 inch for secrecy and every polling station will have four posters for voting procedure and dos and don'ts."
Zaidi added that the ECI is committed to curbing the misuse of black money, cash, liquor, and gifts to influence voters.
(This report first appeared in DNA)