ECI extends ban on Pad-yatras, cycle/bike/vehicle rallies, and processions

Representational Image. (Pixabay)

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 31, 2022, extended ban on roadshows, Pad-yatras, cycle/bike/vehicle rallies, and processions till February 11, 2022.

However, the ECI gave relaxation in numbers permitted for Physical public meetings, indoor meetings, and door-to-door campaigning.

The decision was taken after Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey held another comprehensive review of the present situation of Covid 19 infection particularly in the states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the Commission informed in a press release.

The Commission accompanied by Secretary-General and concerned Deputy Election Commissioners, met with the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and the Chief Secretaries, the Chief Electoral Officers of the five Poll Bound States through virtual mode to assess the present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic.

In-depth discussions were also held with respect to the current Vaccination status of 1st, 2nd doses for eligible persons in the respective States as also arrangements for polling personnel.

After taking into consideration inputs, facts and circumstances and ground reports from State officers and Secretary Health, GOI as also the requirements of necessary political activity in election mode by political parties in present situation, the Commission has decided as follows:

  1. No road shows, Pad-yatras, cycle/bike/vehicle rallies and processions shall be allowed till February 11, 2022.
  2. Commission has now decided to allow physical public meetings of Political parties or contesting candidates in designated open spaces with a maximum of 1000 persons (instead of existing 500 persons) or 50% of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by SDMA, whichever number is lesser, from February 1, 2022 for all phases.
  3. The Commission has also enhanced the limit for door to door campaigns. Instead of 10 persons, now 20 persons, excluding security personnel, will be allowed for door to door campaigns. Other instructions on door to door campaigns will continue.
  4. The Commission has now granted relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of 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.
  5. Political parties and contesting candidates shall ensure the compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour & guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections.
  6. It shall be the responsibility of the DEO concerned to identify and to notify the designated spaces in advance for the aforesaid purposes.

All remaining restrictions as contained in the Revised Broad Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, 2022 issued on January 8, 2022 shall continue to operate. (Press Release)

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