The high-stakes assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, while Punjab and Goa will go to polls together on February 4, Uttarakhand on February 15 and Manipur in two phases on March 4 and 8, with counting to be held on March 11.
Announcing the poll schedule for five states, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the seven-phased UP Assembly polls for 403 constituencies will be held on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, March 4 and 8.
He said over 16 crore people will participate in these polls for a total of 690 constituencies in five states, for which the Commission has set up 1.85 lakh polling stations, which are 15 per cent more than those set up in 2012 polls.
The CEC flanked by the two Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat announced that the poll process will commence with the issue of notification on January 11 for Punjab and Goa polls where candidates can start filing their nominations.
“The Model Code of Conduct will come into immediate effect and will apply on political parties and state governments concerned, besides the Central government in terms of announcements in these states,” Zaidi told reporters.
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, he said.