By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 8 Jan: Election Commission of India has announced the polling schedule for assembly elections in 5 states, to be held between February and March, 2022. The announcement in this regard was made by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra in New Delhi. Polling in Uttarakhand will be held in a single phase on 14 February, 2022. This date coincides with the single phase polling in three states, namely Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa and second phase polling in Uttar Pradesh. With the announcement of the election schedule, Model Code of Conduct too has come into force with immediate effect. Another major announcement in respect of the elections was that political rallies have been banned at least till 15 January and further decision would be taken by the Poll Events Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Uttarakhand: Single Phase Date of Issue of Notification (All 70 ACs) 21-01-2022 (Friday) Last date of making nomination 28-01-2022 (Friday) Date of Scrutiny Last date of withdrawal Date of Poll Date of Counting Date of completion Election Commission after reviewing the Covid situation. Not only public rallies, even roadside rallies, bike rallies or car rallies have been banned till 15 January, as the Covid wave is currently prevailing in the country. Soon after the announcement of elections in the five states by the Election Commission of India in New Delhi, Chief Election Officer of Uttarakhand, Sowjanya also addressed a press conference in Dehradun, where she announced the polling schedule and briefed the media in respect of the Covid related restrictions and other guidelines issued by the Election Commission in respect of the elections. In Uttarakhand, notification for the assembly elections will be issued on 21 January. 28 January will be the last date to file nomination while scrutiny of the nominations will be held on 29 January. Last date for withdrawal of nomination will be 31 January. Polling will be held in a single phase on 14 February, which is a Monday. Counting of the votes will be held on 10 March which is a Thursday, after the polling is over in all the seven phases in Uttar Pradesh. The election process will be completed on 12 March. There are 81 lakh 43 thousand 922 voters in the state, out of which 42 lakh 24 thousand 288 are male, 39 lakh 19 thousand 334 are female voters. There are 93 thousand 964 service voters in the entire state. Voters will get an additional hour to cast their votes in Uttarakhand. Voting will now be held from 8 am to 6 pm. Earlier its timing was fixed from eight in the morning to five in the evening. The announcement was made by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, who was on a tour of the state to test the preparations for the elections. Today, however, Sushil Chandra announced extension of polling timing by one hour in respect of all the states and made it clear that this was being done in view of the Covid pandemic. In Uttarakhand, the political parties had urged the Election Commission to extend the polling timings by one hour so that people are able to exercise maximum franchise in this state with heterogeneous geography. The goal of the commission this time is to increase the voting percentage by making the voters aware. Another major announcement has been regarding the extension of limit on poll related expenditure of the candidates from Rs 28 lakhs to Rs 40 lakhs in Uttarakhand. In Manipur however, the expenditure limit has been extended from Rs 20 lakhs to 28 lakhs. Sowjanya informed that Election Machinery would strictly monitor the election and political activities and would not hesitate to take action against any candidate or party violating the Covid related guidelines under the relevant provisions of Disaster Management Act 2005. voters, both are equally and critically important in a democracy. Therefore, it is duty of the Commission to fulfil its constitutional mandate and those of Authorities/ Committee(s) under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act) to extend support as per legal and institutional framework to steer elections even during unprecedented pandemic for putting elected government in place within due time. issued by NDMA and respective SDMA/DDMA, whichever was more stringent. 3 physical rally of political parties or probable candidates or any other group related to election would be allowed till 15 January, 2022. The Commission would subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly. However, physical rallies during the campaign period, as and when permitted after the decision of the Commission would be conducted, subject to adherence to extant COVID-19 guidelines. The maximum limit of persons allowed for Indoor and outdoor rally/meeting would be as per existing direction of respective SDMAs. It was reiterated by her that the safety of vote and She told that the Election Commission has directed that during electoral process Chief Secretary at State level and District Magistrate at District level, would be primarily responsible for monitoring, supervision and strict enforcement of these COVID guidelines and the guidelines She further highlighted that the Commission expected that all stakeholders namely political parties, candidates, campaigners, voters and authorities engaged in the election process are always conscious of their prime duty towards public health / safety and therefore would abide by these general instructions and other norms of Covid appropriate behavior as mandated by the respective authorities prescribed under the law. No road show, Pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession would be allowed till 15 January, 2022. Commission would subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly. No For these meetings political parties would have to distribute masks and sanitisers to persons attending and maintain COVID protocol at entry and exit point.
Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Uttarakhand:Poll Events Single Phase (All 70 ACs)Date of Issue of Notification 21-01-2022 (Friday)Last date of making nomination 28-01-2022 (Friday)Date of Scrutiny 29-01-2022 (Saturday)Last date of withdrawal 31-01-2022 (Monday)Date of Poll 14-02-2022 (Monday)Date of Counting 10-03-2022 (Thursday)Date of completion 12-03-2022 (Saturday)