New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced the schedule for assembly elections in five states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur starting February 10, 2022. Punjab (117 seats), Uttarakhand (70 seats) and Goa (40 seats) will have single-day voting on February 14, coinciding with the second phase of polls in Uttar Pradesh, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission.

For Manipur, the voting will be conducted in two phases, 38 seats on February 27 and 22 seats on March 3, coinciding with fifth and sixth phases of UP polls.

The final phase of voting will be on March 7 and votes for all phases would be counted on March 10.

1. Precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose for election employees: All election officials and employees will be considered under the ambit of frontline workers and all eligible officers will be vaccinated against COVID-19 with 'precautionary dose', the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra announced on Saturday.

2. Voting at doorstep for above-80, COVID positive citizens: In view of the rising COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission will conduct voting at doorstep for senior citizens above the age of 80, persons with disabilities and COVID positive citizens. The at-home voting will be conducted via postal ballot. To make transparency of voting process a defining feature of the new mode of voting during the pandemic, the whole process will be videographed. The videography, however, CEC Sushil Chandra added, will be conducted from a safe distance to maintain the secrecy of the voting process.

3. No physical rallies till Jan 15, 2022: No physical rally by political parties or candidates or any other group related to elections will be allowed till January 15. "No roadshows, padyatras, cycle or bike rallies and processions shall be allowed till January 15. Situation to be reviewed and fresh instructions to be issued later," the CEC Sushil Chandra said.

4. Online nomination of candidates: Candidates will be able to file nominations online. If they choose to file nominations offline, the COVID protocol will remain in place, meaning no processions will be allowed till the SDM office.

5. Five people can do door-to-door campaign, no victory march: Election Commission restricted the number of people for door-to-door campaigns to five and asked political parties to provide masks, hand sanitisers to people attending rallies, if they are allowed after January 15, 2022. The poll panel has also banned victory celebrations and only two persons will be allowed to accompany a candidate to collect the winning certificate.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma