UP election 2022: Voting to be held in 7 phases from February 10 to March 7
Uttar Pradesh will vote in 7 phases, between February 10 and March 7, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said on Saturday as it addressed a press conference to announce the schedule of assembly elections in five states, including UP.
The second to sixth rounds of polling in the state are scheduled for February 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3, respectively, the poll panel further said, adding that the counting of votes and declaration of results will take place on March 10.
The notification for the first phase will be issued on January 14, while the last date of filing nominations is January 21. Nominations will be scrutinised on January 24, while the last date to withdraw nominations is January 27.
The corresponding dates for the remaining phases are as follows: January 21, 28, 29 and 31 (round 2); January 25, February 1, 2 and 4 (round 3); January 27, February 3, 4 and 7 (round 4); February 1, 8, 9 and 11 (round 5); February 4, 11, 14 and 16 (round 6); and February 10, 17, 18 and 21 (round 7).
Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous states with nearly 200 million inhabitants, also has the highest number of assembly constituencies at 403. It is likely to see a close battle between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP). In the previous assembly polls, in 2017, the BJP won an unprecedented 312 seats, while the then ruling SP, which contested in an alliance with the Congress, was reduced to 47 seats.
The BJP's Yogi Adityanath is the incumbent chief minister, while his primary challenger is Akhilesh Yadav, his predecessor and the chief of the Samajwadi Party.
Besides UP, elections will take place in four other states: Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand. Total 690 assembly seats will be at stake. The BJP is in power in all poll-bound states, except Punjab, which has a Congress government.