New Delhi: The battle for Uttar Pradesh will begin on 11 February and will span seven phases with the last round to be held on 8 March, the Election Commission (EC) announced on Wednesday.
The Uttar Pradesh polls will be held along with assembly elections in four other states.
All the assembly constituencies in the states of Goa and Punjab will go to the polls on 4 February. Elections will be held in Uttarakhand on 15 February.
The 60 assembly constituencies in Manipur will go to polls in two phases, with 38 constituencies on 4 March and 22 constituencies on 8 March.
Counting of votes in all the five states will be held on 11 March.
In Uttar Pradesh, the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) is wracked by a family feud, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is trying to make a comeback while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to play a decisive role in state politics after a gap of 14 years.
“Candidates will be required to open accounts in their banks and money more than the said amount will be removed from the account. If the channels are seen campaigning for their candidates then money will be deducted form their expenditure money,” said chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi.
He said that political parties will be required to file their account statements within 30 days of the declaration of results and the Model Code of Conduct would come into effect immediately.
The election will witness a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand. At present, the NDA is in power in Goa and Punjab, while Congress is ruling in Uttarakhand.
The poll schedule announcement comes a day after the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) recommended holding the first half of the Budget session from 31 January to 9 February.
The term of the Uttar Pradesh assembly ends on 27 May. In the other four states, it expires in March.