New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: The State Election Commission of Uttar Pradesh has announced the schedule for the panchayat elections. Polling for the panchayat elections will be held in four phases on April 15, 19, 26 and 29 for gram panchayats, kshetra panchayats and zila panchayats.

Counting will take place on May 2 when the votes for assembly polls in five other states - West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Assam - will be counted. The model code of conduct has come into effect along with the announcement of pollling dates. 

For the first phase of polls, filing of nominations will begin on April 3. For the second phase, nominations can be filed from April 7. In the third phase, the nomination filing process will commence on April 13. For elections in the final phase, nominations can be submitted from April 17. 

It may be recalled that the Allahabad High Court had directed the state government to complete the election process by May 25.

Earlier this week, the State Election Commission (SEC) had issued a detailed advisory amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, seeking strict adherence to the protocol while conducting the UP Panchayat polls.

Here is the list of phases and the districts which will go to polls: 

Phase I: Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Rampur, Bareli, Hathras, Agra, Kanpur Nagar, Jhansi, Mahoba, Pryagraj, Shravasti, Raebareli, Hardoi, Ayodhya, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur and Badhoi.

Phase II: Muzaffarnagar, Bhagpat, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bijnor, Amroha, Badaun, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Itawah, Lalitpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Lukcnow, Lakhimpur Khiri, Sultanpur, Gonda, Maharajganj, Varanasi and Azamgarh.

Phase III: Shamli, Merut, Moradabad, Pilibhit, Kasganj, Firozabad, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Unnao, Amethi, Barabanki, Balrampur, Chandauli, Siddharthnagar, Deoria, Mirzapur and Ballia.

Phase IV: Hapur, Bulandshahr, Sambhal, Shahjahanpur, Mathura, Aligarh, Farrukhabad, Banda, Kaushambi, Sitapur, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Basti, Kushinagar, Ghazipur, Sonbhadra and Mau 

Amid the ongoing farmers' protest and the rising fuel prices, the UP Panchayat elections will be a litmus test for the BJP-led government in the state and also a semi-final ahead of the 2022 assembly polls in the state. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta