Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Assembly Election: Political parties striving to conduct campaign through digital platforms

In the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and other four states including Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur, the political activities are gaining momentum with the leaders trying to reach out to party workers and electorate through various means of communication.

The leaders of various parties are deliberating in marathon meetings to give shape to their electoral strategies and formations even while to finalising the lists of candidates. Most of the political parties are striving to conduct their campaign through digital mode as much as possible.

In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases of Omicron variant across the country, the Election Commission has laid focus on COVID-safe elections with maximum participation. It is going to ensure the safety of vote and voters as both are equally and critically important in the democracy. The commission has directed political parties to adhere to the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and the broad guidelines of COVID.

The Election Commission has extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows till the 22nd of this month in five poll-bound states. The poll body has granted relaxation for political parties to the extent of indoor meetings of maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by State Disaster Management Authorities.

The commission will subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly. If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no further permission will be given to the concerned candidate or party for rallies or meetings.

The Election Commission has also decided to increase the broadcast time allotted to recognised political parties on Doordarshan and All India Radio during these elections.

Meanwhile, the process of filing of nominations for the First Phase of Assembly Elections is slowly picking up. In all, 77 nominations were filed till last evening in Uttar Pradesh. The First Phase nominations can be filed till Friday and the scrutiny of nomination papers will be undertaken on Monday.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 27th of January and the picture of the electoral contests will become clear at that stage. In this phase, 58 Assembly Constituencies including nine reserved for the Scheduled Castes will go to polls on 10th of February. These constituencies are from eleven districts of Shamli (Prabuddh Nagar), Meerut, Hapur (Panchsheel Nagar), Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Mathura.

There are total 2,27,83,739 electors who will be eligible to exercise their franchise during this phase. They include 1,23,31,251 male, 1,04,51,053 female and 1,435 third gender voters.

The process of filing nominations for the Second of Seven-Phase Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will begin with the issuance of notification on Friday. The Second Phase of polling will be conducted on 14th of February in 55 Assembly Constituencies from nine districts including nine ACs reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

They include Saharanpur, Bijnor, Amroha (J.P. Nagar), Moradabad, Bareilly, Rampur, Sambhal (Bhim Nagar), Budaun and Shahjahanpur district. In addition, the Single-Phase polling in two states Goa and Uttarakhand will be held simultaneously. Forty seats in Goa and 70 seats in Uttarakhand will go to polls together in this phase.

During the UP Second Phase and the Single-Phase polling in the two states, the nominations can be filed till 28th and the scrutiny will be undertaken on 29th of January.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be 31st of January. Total 2,01,42,441 electors will be eligible to exercise their franchise during the Second Phase. They include 1,07,61,476 male, 93,79,704 female and 1,261 third gender voters.

Goa has total 11,56,762 electors including 11,56,464 general and 298 service voters. The total number also includes 9,643 Persons with Disabilities. It also includes 5,62,500 male, 5,93,960 female and four third gender voters. The total strength of the house is 40 out of which one seat is reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Uttarakhand has total 82,38,187 electors including 81,43,922 general and 94,265 service voters along with 68,478 PwD voters.  The total strength of the house is 70 out of which 13 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and two seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

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