Election Commission of India on Monday extended the ban on public rallies, pad-yatras, roadshows for another 11 days considering the Covid-19 third wave in all the poll-bound states.
In its directive to all five poll-bound states, the Commission said there would be no roadshows, Pad-yatras, cycle/bike/vehicle rallies and processions till February 11. The Commission would review the situation before Feb 11 and issue a fresh directive accordingly.
The Commission, however, relaxed some norms and allowed physical public meetings of Political parties or contesting candidates in designated open spaces with a maximum of 1000 persons, which was earlier limited to 500 persons or 50% of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by SDMA, whichever number is lesser, from February 1 for all phases.
The decision to this effect was taken by the Commission after a comprehensive review of the present situation of Covid 19 infection particularly in the states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. It held separate meetings with the Union Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Chief Secretaries, the Chief Electoral Officers of the five Poll Going States through virtual mode to assess the present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic.
The Commission has also enhanced the limit for door to door campaigns to 20 persons, which was earlier limited to 10 persons excluding security personnel, said a senior officer of the Election Commission.
For indoor meetings, the Commission also relaxed its norms for indoor meetings of political parties to a maximum of 500 persons instead of existing 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA is allowed.