Kickstarting its tour to assess the preparedness of poll-bound states, a team of the Election Commission would visit Punjab from Wednesday. This would be the Commission’s first visit to a state going for assembly elections early next year.
The EC may announce dates for polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab sometime in January, it is learned. After visiting Punjab on Wednesday and Thursday, the Commission could visit Goa sometime next week and Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur later.
While the term of the Uttar Pradesh assembly ends in May next year, the terms of the legislative assemblies of other four states end on different dates in March, 2022. The Commission usually visits poll-bound states before announcing election schedule. But there have been instances when it has visited states after announcement of elections.
During their visit to Punjab, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey would meet state officials and other stakehokders to assess the ground situation. Updating voters list and adherence to Covid-protocol are some of the issues which the Commission could assess.
The EC team may also meet representatives of political parties during its visit. Senior EC officials have been to these states, including Uttar Pradesh, in the recent past to assess the preparedness.
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