Poll schedule in 5 states of India after security inputs: CEC

POLLING IN PUNJAB, UP GOA, MANIPUR AND UTTARAKHAND NEXT YEAR

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Election Commission will take a call on the dates of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand, due early next year, based on the inputs provided by security forces and state law and order machinery, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said here, October 19.

Zaidi said the schedule will be finalized keeping in mind the weather and examination schedule. “We are trying to assess the requirement of security forces, climate and exam schedule – all these inputs are being taken into consideration. Only then will we be able to say whether they will be staggered or multi-phase,” the CEC told mediapersons on the sidelines of an event.

“As far as the schedule is concerned, the commission has not given a thought as yet.” On if the EC should get powers to prevent parties from making statements in states where elections have not yet been announced, Zaidi said once the model code came into force, the EC would ensure its compliance. Assembly elections are due early next year in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur. The terms of Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand Assemblies end in March, while that of UP ends in May.