New Delhi: The Election Commission has rescheduled the first phase of polling in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh from February 4 to March 3.
The change in schedule was necessitated by an uncertainty over the date of `Barawafat` festival, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad, which may also fall on February 4.
The counting of votes has been shifted to March 6 from March 4 as had been earlier announced.
The decision was taken after several political parties, especially in Bareilly, gave written undertakings asking the poll panel to defer polling dates.
A statement issued by the EC in this regard said, “The Commission has today decided that the notification for 60 ACs going for poll on February 4, 2012 shall not be issued on January 10. This is due to uncertainty about the date of `Barawafat` festival which may also fall on February 4, 2012."
The poll panel said the law and order enforcing agencies and District Election Officers of the state had also referred to the possibility of the Barawafat festival coinciding with the with the first phase of polls, during the Commission`s two-day review meeting in Lucknow last week.
The poll panel has also requested the Governor of Uttar Pradesh not to issue the notification for the first phase scheduled on January 10, 2012.
According to the earlier announcement, Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh were scheduled for seven phases between February 4 and 28.