The high-stakes Assembly polls of Uttar Pradesh will be contested in seven phases to ensure proper security, officials said.
The first phase might be held on February 7. According to sources, the Election Commission may announce the poll schedule for five states on January 4.
A senior official said that the polls for 403 Assembly seats of Uttar Pradesh will begin in the first week of February and the last phase might be held on the second week of March. Neighbouring Uttrakhand and Punjab will witness single-phase polls, which might be held on February 8, officials said.
On Wednesday, the Election Commission asked the central and state governments to keep the administration ready for a smooth implementation of the model code of conduct (MCC). In a letter to the cabinet secretary and chief secretaries of the poll-bound states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, and Punjab — the Election Commission gave a set of instructions to implement the MCC, which comes into force on the day the election schedule is announced.