Election Commission extends ban on rallies by a week
Indoor meetings allowed with a maximum of 300 persons
New Delhi, Jan. 15 (Delhi Crown): The Election Commission of India on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa till by a week to January 22, in light of the emerging Covid-19 situation.
Last week, while announcing the election schedules in five states the EC had imposed a ban on physical rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
The Union Health Secretary and the Principal Health Secretaries of the five poll-bound states informed the EC on Saturday that the infection is still spreading.
In a meeting experts told the EC that while the intensity of infection of the Omicron variant is not as deadly as that of Delta, relaxing restrictions would not be appropriate just yet.
A decision was then made to extend the ban on rallies and processions at least till next week, said an official.
However, the Commission has relaxed some restrictions ahead of Assembly polls in the five states.
Now, indoor meetings of a maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA will be allowed.
But political parties will have to ensure the compliance of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour (CAB) and guidelines and the Model Code of Conduct on all occasions during poll-related events.
All remaining restrictions as contained in the Revised Broad Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, 2022 issued on January 8 must continue to be in effect.