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EC to announce dates for UP elections by January 5?

EC to announce dates for UP elections by January 5?
The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the dates of prolonged Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls by January 5, 2017, said sources. It was also learnt that the first phase of the Assembly polls is likely to happen in January end. 

Recently, the EC cancelled examination dates for Class X and Class XII rather abruptly which is an indication that it doesn’t want the UP Secondary Education Board to conduct exams from February 16-March 20. The Board has now been also directed by the Commission to reschedule the dates in consultations with the state Chief Election Officer. 

According to sources, the EC also wants to conclude the Assembly polls in other four states namely Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur by the end of March. Last week, during a visit to Goa, Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi had said: “We are taking a number of inputs regarding the availability of security forces and other factors. We are also in consultation with the state examination boards.” Apart from the board examinations in all these 5 states, especially in UP, both the incumbent Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party seem to be in a rush. 

Amid the political adversaries, the Chief Minister and the SP youth leader, Akhilesh Yadav and his Cabinet rushed to approve the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations with effect from as early as January 17, 2017. About 24 lakh state employees and pensioners would stand to gain from this move. Their feel-good factor apart, all incumbent governments want state employees to be on their side for another reason — so that they may be employed on election duty. At the same time, the BJP wishes to contest the polls keeping in consideration the effects of demonetisation and its recent wins in the by-polls.

On the other side, political parties like the Congress and BSP seem to attack both the state government and the Centre. Both BSP supremo Mayawati and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi seem to escalate issues of people suffering due to Uttar Pradesh’s feeble law and order system and frenzied situation for ill-planned implementation of the demonetisation drive across the country.

Moreover, the Congress scion has also been making scathing attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his alleged personal corruptions by his aggressive and in a no-holds-barred mould. Already, he has collected detailed distress petitions from more than two-and-a-half crore farmers from UP and Punjab and also accused the PM of taking money from the Sahara conglomerate as Gujarat CM.

According to the power corridors in Lucknow, an alliance between the SP and the Congress is already on the cards.
Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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