The Election Commission will announce on Wednesday the schedule of the assembly elections to be held in five states.
Five states, including the country’s most populous and political crucial Uttar Pradesh, will face the poll test. The other four states are Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand.
The poll schedule comes amid the split of the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh where the BJP and the BSP are eyeing to gain from the internal tussle of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family.
In Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party will be contesting for the first time, changing the face of the polls that has traditionally seen a straight contest between the BJP-Akali alliance and the Congress.
With the announcement of the poll date, the model code of conduct will immediately come in place, restricting the state and the central government from announcing new schemes and sops.
There has been speculation that the Election Commission might defer holding polls in Manipur, on account of the ongoing economic blockade imposed in the state by the United Naga Council.
Sources in the country commission had earlier indicated that polls in all five states will be held simultaneously.
Even though the center on Tuesday indicated that it is not considering imposition of President’s Rule in the state, the Opposition parties, especially the Congress has hinted at the possibility.
The Congress is against deferring polls in the state and has accused the BJP of trying to delay the electoral exercise.
The assembly elections are crucial for the ruling BJP as it will be the first time it will go to the polls after demonetisation.