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Rediff.com  » News » EC plans elections to 5 states by Feb, 2012

EC plans elections to 5 states by Feb, 2012

October 20, 2011 13:57 IST

The 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly's tenure ends on May 20, 2012 and that of the 40-member Goa assembly is up to June 14, but the Election Commission has indicated to the Centre that it is not inclined to hold those elections separately after conducting polls in three states -- Punjab, Uttrakhand and Manipur -- where the assembly terms end in March next year.

The Election Commission is looking out for one option -- to conduct the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Goa with those in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur and complete them by February end in 2012. 

Union Home Secretary R K Singh called on the Election Commission a few days ago to discuss the security arrangements for the elections when he was conveyed the latter's decision to hold all upcoming assembly elections and also by-elections in some states, together. 

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, accompanied by colleague commissioners V S Sampath and H S Brahma, discussed with Singh the security arrangements they want to ensure a free and fair poll and gave him an indicative list of dates on which the Election Commission intends to hold the polling, sources told rediff.com.

The elections will be spread over two months on five different dates in January and February and the counting done only after completing all rounds of the polling, a highly placed Election Commission source said.

He said a firm decision on the election dates will be taken in a fortnight and an announcement of the elections may be expected in the second half of November. The election code of conduct for the governments and political parties will come into force from the day the announcement is made. 

The tenure of 70-member Uttarakhand assembly is up to March 12, 2012, that of 117-member Punjab assembly up to March 14 and that of 60-member Manipur assembly up to March 15.

"We plan to complete the elections at least one or two weeks ahead of completion of their terms," the source said.

Punjab and Uttarakhand may go to polls in the first phase as early as in second or third week of January, followed by elections in Goa and Manipur, also by January end or early February.

The polling in Uttar Pradesh is planned in three or four phases, depending on the availability of the central paramilitary forces.

He said the Election Commission wants to complete the polls at an early date to ensure neither school examinations nor harvesting is affected.

A Correspondent in New Delhi