Source: News Bharati English04 Jan 2017 13:28:28

New Delhi, January 4: Election Commission of India on Wednesday has announced the dates of polls for Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Goa. Basically, the polls of all the five states will start from February 4 and will end up on March 8. The counting of votes in all five States will happen on March 11. Importantly, this time Election Commission decides that all five states go into elections at one go.
While addressing the media briefing, Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi also announced new rules and regulations to be followed during assembly polls. He also declared that more than 16 crore people will vote in this year's assembly elections in all the five states.
New rules and regulations brought up by Election Commission are as follows:

i)        The limit for expenses for candidates is Rs 28 lakh for UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rs 20 lakh for Manipur and Goa.

ii)        The model code of conduct comes into immediate effect.

iii)      There will be strict expenditure monitor mechanism to curb black money. 

iv)      EC will focus on paid news. Press Council of India will help the commission in the detection of paid news.

v)       Candidates will be required to affix photo on nomination papers, he will be required to mention that he is a citizen of India.

vi)      Kiosks/bastas set up by candidates will be deemed to be set up by candidates, to be included in election expenses by candidates. Uttar Pradesh.

vii)      Expenses above Rs 20,000 have to be out of bank accounts to be set up and it has to be through cheques.

Dates for Elections in all five states are as follows:

Uttar Pradesh

73 constituencies (15 districts) will go to polls in the first phase: 

The last date of notification is Jan. 17

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 24

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Jan. 27

Poll date: Feb. 11

67 constituencies (11 districts) will go to polls in the second phase: 

The last date of notification is Jan. 20

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 27

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Jan. 30

Poll date: Feb. 15

69 constituencies (12 districts) will go to polls in the third phase: 

The last date of notification is Jan. 24

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 31

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 4

Poll date: Feb. 19

53 constituencies (12 districts) will go to polls in the fourth phase: 

The last date of notification is Jan. 30

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 6

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 9

Poll date: Feb. 23

52 constituencies (11 districts) will go to polls in the fifth phase: 

The last date of notification is Feb. 2

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 9

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 13

Poll date: Feb. 27

49 constituencies (7 districts) will go to polls in the sixth phase: 

The last date of notification is Feb. 8

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 15

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 18

Poll date: March 4

40 constituencies (7 districts) will go to polls in the seventh phase: 

The last date of notification is Feb. 11

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 18

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 22

Poll date: March 8

MANIPUR

38 constituencies will go to polls in the first phase

The last date of notification is Feb. 8;

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 15;

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 18;

Poll date: March 4

22 constituencies will go to polls in the second phase

The last date of notification is Feb. 11;

Last date for filing nomination Feb. 18;

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Feb. 22;

Poll date: March 8

UTTARAKHAND

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 27

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Jan. 30

Poll date: February 15

PUNJAB

The last date of notification is Jan. 11

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 18

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Jan. 21

Poll date: February 4

GOA

The last date of notification is Jan. 11

Last date for filing nomination Jan. 18

Last date for withdrawal of candidates Jan. 20

Poll date: February 4

Election Commission this time has also taken various measures to ease the process of polls so that the citizens should not get any problems while giving votes. The measures are as follows:

i)        There will be complete accountability of photo voter slips, colourful voter guides will be distributed to each family.

ii)       The height of voting compartments has been raised to 30 inches for secrecy.

iii)      Every polling station will have 4 posters for voting procedure and dos and don'ts.

iv)      Over 1.85 lakh polling stations to be in operation for Assembly Elections to the five states.

v)       ECI to distribute Voters' Guide to facilitate voters; there will be voters Assistance booth manned by officials.

vi)      All women-managed polling stations would be set up to ease.

vii)      Election Commission, in order to provide friendly and helpful situations for disabled ones, will set up special polling booths.

viii)     Election Commission this time will ensure level playing field for inclusive, free and fair elections, by curbing muscle power and abuse of money.

Notably, the Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India.The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324 and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. The Commission has the powers under the Constitution, to act in an appropriate manner when the enacted laws make insufficient provisions to deal with a given situation in the conduct of an election.