2022 Assembly Elections Live Updates:
The 55 seats in Uttar Pradesh that go to the polls on February 14, in the second phase of the Assembly elections, appear to be more challenging for the BJP than those in Phase 1 given the region’s significant Muslim and Dalit population, the coming together of the SP and the RLD, and the performance of Opposition parties in past elections.
In 2017, the region — which has western UP districts such as Moradabad, Saharanpur, Bijnore, Amroha and districts towards central UP such as Badaun and Shahjahanpur — saw the BJP getting the maximum seats (38 out of 55) as the party rode a Modi wave and a bitterly polarised campaign. The Samajwadi Party (SP) won 15 seats in 2017, the Congress as an ally of the SP won two seats, while the BSP drew a blank. A total of 11 Muslim candidates won from the region — all from SP. The Akhilesh Yadav-led SP was runner-up on 27 seats, the BJP on 13 and the BSP on 11. In 2012, when the SP won a majority in the state, it won 27 seats in this region and the BJP eight.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when the SP, BSP and RLD contested collectively, the BSP had won four of the 11 seats — Amroha, Bijnor, Nagina and Saharanpur — while SP won Rampur, Moradabad and Sambhal. These seven seats cover at least 35 Assembly constituencies.
Stating that the first phase of polling in the state falls on a Sunday, the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) and the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) have urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to reschedule the election date.
The first phase of polling in Manipur is scheduled to be held on February 27, which is a Sunday.
Members of tribal communities, who constitute about 43% of the state’s population, are predominantly Christians. ATSUM has said that Sundays are considered to be sacred by the Christian community and it is a day of rest and worship for them.
Meanwhile, most of the districts in three poll-bound states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur – have been found to “represent high vulnerability to emerging Covid pandemic due to Omicron variant”, according to an analysis by one of the empowered groups constituted by the Centre on Covid-19.