GOA’S APPOINTMENT WITH DEMOCRACY IS ON VALENTINE’S DAY
The countdown begins, the ballot on February 14; Results on March 10. Election dates for four other states in seven phases announced
Panjim: The wait is over, and the hectic wait and countdown begins. We now have a date. And it’s Valentine’s Day. A meeting with democracy. But there will be no love lost as the major electoral parties clash in what appears to be a multi-angled fractured election between (at this point) four political parties or fronts.
The Indian Election Commission (ECI) on Saturday announced the timetable for parliamentary elections in five states, including Goa Goa. Goans will vote on February 14 with the Punjab, Uttarakhand and the UP, in the second phase of the seven-phase elections in five states. Elections will also be held in Manipur.
The counting of the votes will take place on March 10.
The formal notification will be published on January 21. The deadline for submitting applications will be January 28. The review of applications will take place on January 29. January 31 is the last date for the withdrawal of applications.
It will also be an election like never before. Covered with a blanket of restrictions but with some interesting highlights like making it mandatory to disclose candidates’ criminal backgrounds on the party’s website homepage. (see the detailed story in this package)
The EC has also made it clear that no roadshow, padayatra, rally or procession by bike or bicycle will be allowed until January 15 given the Covid situation. The situation will be reviewed and new instructions will be issued later, the CEC said. He also said the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) goes into effect as soon as the timetables are announced.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said candidates with criminal cases were required to provide “mandatory advertising” in newspapers and on television three times during the campaign period. Political parties must give the reasons, on the home page of their website, why a candidate with a criminal history has been ticketed. “
CEC Chandra said there would be more than a lakh of polling stations in the five states. 60% of polling stations will have webcasting, he said.
CEC Chandra said spending tracking will be done. Goa and Manipur will see an increase in election expenses per candidate to Rs 28 lakhs. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab will see an increase in spending per candidate to Rs 40 lakhs. There will be 1,620 polling stations to be occupied by female staff, the CEC said. There will be a postal voting system available for the elderly (80+), people with disabilities with disability certificates, and those affected by Covid. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said: “We must conduct the elections in a way that saves voters and parties”.
“We have been working on preparations for the elections over the past 6 months. With OMICRON in mind, we will take all possible precautions, ”he said.
In view of the recent increase in Covid-19 cases, the EC has held several meetings with the Union’s health secretary and members of the Covid working group. The EC placed emphasis on accelerating the immunization program in election-related states.