Assembly polls 2017: Elections begin on February 4, counting on March 11 | assembly-elections | Hindustan Times
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Assembly polls 2017: Elections begin on February 4, counting on March 11

The elections are seen as a test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies, including a contentious ban on high-value banknotes.

assembly elections Updated: Jan 04, 2017 19:36 IST
HT Correspondent
In this file photo from November 26, 2016, polling officers check electronic voting machines (EVM) after collecting them from different centres on the eve of municipal council elections in Karad. In all, some 160 million people will be eligible to vote in these five states.
In this file photo from November 26, 2016, polling officers check electronic voting machines (EVM) after collecting them from different centres on the eve of municipal council elections in Karad. In all, some 160 million people will be eligible to vote in these five states.(PTI)

Voting to elect new assemblies in five states will kick off on February 4, the election commission announced on Wednesday, with polling planned in seven phases starting February 11 for politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.

All results will be out March 11.

Punjab and Goa will vote in a single phase on February 4. Uttarakhand will vote on February 15 and Manipur in two phases on March 4 and 8. Counting of votes in all five states will take place on March 11.

The elections are seen as a test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies, including a contentious ban on high-value banknotes and a decision to strike militants across India’s de facto border with Pakistan. The polls are billed by many experts as a potential “semi-final” for the 2019 general elections.

The polls are also crucial for the future of smaller parties. The vote comes at a time when the Samajwadi Party, which rules Uttar Pradesh, is wracked by an internal power struggle. It will also determine whether Aam Aadmi Party, which will contest for the first time in Punjab, can widen its influence beyond Delhi.

For the first time, ballots will carry photos of candidates. In all, some 160 million people will be eligible to vote in these five states.

Uttar Pradesh (Total Seats: 403)
PhaseConstituenciesNotificationLast date of nominationScrutinyWithdrawalDate of Polling
Phase I73January 17January 24January 25January 27February 11
Phase II67January 20January 27January 30February 1February 15
Phase III69January 24January 31February 1February 3February 19
Phase IV53January 30February 6February 7February 9February 23
Phase V52February 2February 9February 10February 13February 27
Phase VI49February 7February 14February 16February 18March 4
Phase VII40February 9February 16February 17February 20March 8
Date of counting for all states: March 11
Punjab (Total seats: 117)
PhaseConstituencies NotificationLast date of nominationScrutinyWithdrawalDate of Polling
Single Phase117 January 11January 18January 19January 21February 4
Uttarakhand (Total seats: 70)
PhaseConstituencies NotificationLast date of nominationScrutinyWithdrawalDate of Polling
Single Phase70January 20January 27January 30February 1February 15
Goa (Total seats: 40)
PhaseConstituencies NotificationLast date of nominationScrutinyWithdrawalDate of Polling
Single Phase40January 11January 18January 19January 21February 4
Manipur (Total seats: 60)
PhaseConstituencies NotificationLast date of nominationScrutinyWithdrawalDate of Polling
Phase I38February 7February 14February 16February 18March 4
Phase II22February 9February 16February 17February 20March 8

The election commission also announced a set of new rules for candidates contesting the elections, including opening separate bank accounts to pay for campaign expenses.

Read | Stage set for UP polls: SP, BSP, Cong, BJP to battle for largest vote share

The panel said candidates must pay from these accounts by cheque for any campaign expense above Rs20,000. They will have to provide all details of expenses to the commission by no later than 75 days after the elections.

Candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand can spend Rs28 lakh each, while those in Goa and Manipur can spend up to Rs20 lakh each.

They will also have to furnish an additional affidavit undertaking that they do not have any outstanding government bills.

With the announcement of the voting dates, a model code of conduct kicks in, restricting the central and state governments from announcing new schemes and sops.

Read | RSS turns inwards to look for Dalit icons ahead of UP, Punjab polls