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Dates OUT for UP, Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand polls

Last updated on: December 24, 2011 18:35 IST

7-phase polls in UP, single phase for 4 other states

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Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Saturday announced the dates for the assembly elections to be held next year in five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

Counting of votes for all states will be held on March 4.

Uttar Pradesh:

Poll dates:  February 4, February 8, February 11, February 15, February 19, February 23, February 28

Assembly seats: 403

All eyes are especially on battleground Uttar Pradesh, which has a total of 403 assembly seats, The EC will go for seven-phase polls in UP from February 4. The last day of polls in UP will coincide with the Budget on February 28.

While Chief Minister Mayawati is trying to save her turf, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is fighting to reclaim it. The UP polls are crucial for the Congress with general secretary Rahul Gandhi leading the battle. The Congress has entered into a poll alliance with Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal party in the state.

Mayawati did not favour February polls because it will deprive her of the opportunity to use her absolute majority in the biggest assembly to boost the Bahujan Samaja Party's strength in the Rajya Sabha. The biennial elections to the Upper House is scheduled to be held in April.

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Image: Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav


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7-phase polls in UP, single phase for 4 other states

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Punjab

Poll dates: January 30

Assembly seats: 117

The Punjab elections will be a single-phase exercise on January 30.

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday announced its first list of 48 candidates for the Punjab assembly elections. Akali Dal patron and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will contest from his traditional constituency of Lambi in Muktsar district.

The Akali Dal is likely to contest 94 seats, leaving 23 seats for its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party. Both have been running the alliance government in Punjab since March 2007.

The Congress seems to be comparatively slow about its campaign and releasing its first list of candidates for the Punjab polls. Former chief minister and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh avers that that Congress election campaign is not sluggish and will pick up pace in the coming days.

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Image: Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh


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Five-phase polls in UP, single phase for 4 other states

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Uttarakhand

Poll dates: January 30

Assembly seats: 70

Single-phase polls will be held in Uttarkhand on January 30.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand is hoping that the people, fed up with unprecedented level of corruption, inflation and other issues like black money under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime, would definitely repose faith in it in the upcoming elections. Chief Minister Major General B C Khanduri will lead the party in these elections.

But Rahul Gandhi, who kicked off his campaign in the hill state on Friday, is putting up a tough fight for the Congress. Accusing the BJP leadership of corruption, he has assured financial assistance for Uttarakhand if his party comes to power.

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Image: Uttarkhand CM B C Khanduri


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Five-phase polls in UP, single phase for 4 other states

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Goa

Poll dates: March 3

Assembly seats: 40

A single-phase poll will be held in Goa  on March 3.

The tenure of the Goa assembly will end on June 14 but the EC has indicated to the home ministry that it is keen on holding polls for all five states together in early 2012. 

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Shirodkar and Chief Minister Digambar Kamat met All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi on Friday to discuss the party's poll strategy.

Sonia is said to have discussed with Kamat and Shirodkar the seat-sharing arrangements with the Nationalist Congress Party, and if possible with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

Leader of Opposition and former CM Manohar Parrikar is expected to be the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate in the forthcoming polls. Sources say that Congressman and former BJP MP Ramakant Angle is likely to rejoin the BJP to challenge chief minister Digambar Kamat in Margao.

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Image: Goa CM Digambar Kamat and Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar


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Five-phase polls in UP, single phase for 4 other states

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Manipur

Poll date: January 28

Assembly seats: 60

The Manipur elections will be held on January 28 in a single phase.

 The Congress government in Manipur is led by Okram Ibobi Singh.

The BJP has stated its intentions of teaming up with like-minded parties to take on the Congress for the Manipur assembly polls, even as the NCP and the regional Manipur People's Party have announced a pre-poll alliance.

Manipur, which has been plagued by insurgency for a long time, may need heavy deployment of forces to ensure peaceful polling.

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Image: Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh


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