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Seven-phase poll in UP in April, May
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 21, 2007 18:16 IST
Last Updated: February 21, 2007 19:44 IST
The Election Commission on Wednesday issued the dates for elections to the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
Addressing media persons in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said the elections will be conducted in seven stages.
The notification for the first phase of elections will be issued on March 13. The polling will be conducted in 62 constituencies on April 7.
In the second phase, 58 constituencies will go for polls. The notification for the second phase will be issued on March 17 and the elections will be held on April 13.
The notification for the third phase will be issued on March 23. Fifty seven constituencies will go to poll in this phase on April 18.
The proceedings for the fourth phase of elections in the state will get underway on March 28. Fifty seven constituencies will go to polls in this phase on April 23.
Notification for the fifth phase will be issued on April 3. Fifty eight constituencies will go to polls in this phase on April 28.
Proceedings for the sixth phase will get underway on April 5 and polling will be conducted in 52 constituencies on May 3.
Counting of votes in the elections to the 403 member assembly will be taken up on May 11, the CEC said, adding that by-elections to Robertsganj, Mirzapur and Bilhaur Lok Sabha constituencies will be held along with the assembly elections in the respective constituencies.
He said the Home ministry had assured that it will provide Central paramilitary forces along with the state armed forces for the seven-phase polls. General observers will be placed for all the constituencies and conduct of all officials in the state will be monitored closely, he added.
The decision raised questions whether the Centre could still act on Congress plans for invoking Article 356 of the Constitution in the state in the wake of the Commission's announcement.
Two leading legal experts former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and K K Venugopal said that the announcement of poll schedule does not come in the way of any Centre's decision to impose President's rule in a state. However, Sorabjee feels that such a decision will be improper and smacking of malafides.
Both said if the government felt that governance in a state could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, it can impose President's rule.
Asked about the urgency in announcing the schedule, Gopalaswami said, "As far as we are concerned, the clock of Constitutional mandate started ticking for us from yesterday. We are 24 hours behind."