The Election Commission of India on Sunday announced the dates for this year’s Lok Sabha polls, that will be held in seven different stages. Announcing the dates, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the Model Code of Conduct had now kicked in with immediate effect across India. However, hours before Arora’s announcement, the Uttar Pradesh government headed by Yogi Adityanath announced the appointments of 72 close associates in 22 commissions, councils and corporations.
Notable among those appointed in new plum roles are comedian Raju Srivastava, who has been appointed as the chairman of Film Development Council. Srivastava has been actively speaking in favour of the BJP since the saffron party formed the government at the Centre in 2014.
Elsewhere, Arvind Rajbhar, son of UP Cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, whose party Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is an ally of the NDA, has has been appointed as the chairman of UP Small Industries Corporation Limited. According to a report by PTI, Rana Ajit Pratap Singh, another office-bearer of the SBSP, has been made the chairman of UP Beej Vikas Nigam (UP Seeds Development Corporation).
Shyam Nandan Singh has become the chairperson of UP Gau Seva Aayog, while Jayendra Pratap Singh Rathore has been rewarded with the post of the part-time chairman of UP Pollution Control Board. Surendra Nath Valmiki has been appointed as the chairman of Rajya Safai Karamchari Aayog.
Another former MLA, Nawab Singh Nagar from Noida has been made the chairman of Lal Bahadur Shastri Cane Development Corporation, while Neeraj Shahi from Deoria has been appointed as his deputy.
According to the Election Commission, Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven stages for its 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Eight seats will go for polls on 11 April in Phase 1, while the Phase 2 will see eight seats being contested for on 18 April UP. In Phase 3, 10 seats will go for polls on 23 April. 13 seats will see polling in phase 4 on 29 April, while the phase 5 will have 14 seats going for polls on 6 May. In Phase 6, 14 seats will go for polls on 12 May, while the remaining 13 seats.
The counting will take place on 23 May. BJP’s ability to repeat its 2014 performance here will decide if it’s able to form the government at the Centre again. In 2014, the saffron party had won 73 out of 80 seats with the help of Apna Dal.