ECI extends ban on physical rallies and roadshows in all poll-bound states until January 22
The ECI held separate virtual meetings with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as also the Chief Electoral Officers of these five poll-bound states.
Updated on 16 Jan 2022, 3:39 pm
The Election Commission of India on Saturday extended ban on physical rallies of political parties or candidates and roadshows in all poll-bound states until January 22. Apart from it, the ECI issued several directions during separate virtual meetings held with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as also the Chief Electoral Officers of these five poll-bound states.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey accompanied by Secretary General and concerned Deputy Election Commissioners held a comprehensive review of present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic with special focus in the five poll-bound states.
Vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing vaccination for first, second and booster dose for eligible persons amongst frontline workers and polling personnel was also reviewed.
The ECI also discussed State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) restrictions and state specific extant guidelines regulating the norms of gathering of persons during the period of pandemic.
After considering the present situation, facts and circumstances as also the inputs received in these meetings, the Commission has directed the following:
1. No road show, Padyatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till 22 January, 2022. Commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly.
2. No physical rally of Political parties or candidates (including probable) or any other group related to election shall be allowed till 22 January, 2022.
3. However, the Commission has granted relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA will be allowed.
4. Political parties shall ensure the compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour and guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections.
5. All remaining restrictions as contained in the Revised Broad Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, 2022 issued on 8 January 2022 shall continue to operate.
All concerned State/District authorities shall ensure full compliance of these instructions, the Election Commission stated.