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The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that the Assembly elections for five states will take place in over seven phases and will start from February 10, 2022.

The five states to go for polls this year are Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, and Uttarakhand.

The counting of votes has been scheduled for March 10.

As per the ECI, Uttar Pradesh will vote in each of the seven phases.

The dates for voting in UP are February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3, and March 7.

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While, Punjab, Goa, and Uttarakhand will vote on February 14.

The northeastern state, Manipur will vote in two phases on February 27 March 3.

These states have 690 Assembly constituencies combined.

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Among them, UP has 403 seats followed by Punjab (117), Uttarakhand (70), Manipur (60) and Goa (40).

The ECI while announcing the dates, stated that holding of timely election is the “essence of maintaining democratic governance”.

Even though there is a surge in the COVID-19 cases in the country, the Commission claimed that the decision for the polls to be held was taken after detailed discussions with the Union Health Secretary and Home Secretary, experts, and health secretaries of the concerned states.

The Commission further stated that there will be a bar on physical rallies to ensure safety from COVID till January 15.

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