The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday directed the states where elections would be held in the coming months to frame broad guidelines within three days on the smooth conduct of the polling process amid the Coronavirus pandemic and report back to the central body.

On the basis of these guidelines, the Commission directed, the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of such states will also prepare comprehensive plans for the conduct of campaigning and voting in the state/districts concerned, taking into account the conditions likely to prevail during elections.

After hearing from these states, the ECI would take further action.

The Commission’s directions came after a meeting here earlier in the day on the matter. The ECI took into consideration the views and suggestions given by various political parties.

It also considered the suggestions and recommendations made by the CEOs of states and Union Territories.

The EC had recently sought suggestions from political parties in Bihar on how to hold the coming Assembly polls, including an increase in the number of polling booths to meet social distancing norms.

Bihar, which is slated to go to the polls in October-November, is gearing up for the exercise despite the dual challenges posed by the Coronavirus and the floods.