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ECI extends ban on physical rallies and roadshows in poll-bound states till 22 January

Election Commission of India building.

In view of the rapid spread of coronavirus, the Election Commission of India on Saturday extended the ban on political rallies and roadshows in poll-bound states till January 22.

The news: As per the order no roadshows, padyatras, cycle or bike rallies, and processions will be allowed.

  • Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey and officials held a comprehensive review of present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic with special focus in the five poll going states.
  • Vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing vaccination for 1st, 2nd and booster dose for eligible persons amongst Frontline workers and polling personnel was also reviewed.
  • The Commission also discussed SDMA’s restrictions and state specific extant guidelines regulating the norms of gathering of persons during the period of pandemic.

The Commission has directed as follows:

  • No road show, Pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till January 22, 2022. The Commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly.
  • No physical rally of political parties or candidates (including probable) or any other group related to election shall be allowed till 22 January, 2022.
  • 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.
  • Political parties shall ensure the compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour & guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections.
  • 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.

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