Election Commission extends ban on rallies, road shows till January 31

Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India

The Election Commission has extended its ban on road shows and rallies till January 31. However, some relaxations have been announced ahead of the Assembly elections next month.

The Election Commission has extended its ban on physical poll rallies and road shows ahead of the five Assembly elections scheduled next month till January 31, 2022. This ban was imposed by the Election Commission earlier this month on account of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

However, the Election Commission announced some relaxations for political parties on Saturday. These include:

– Public meetings of political parties or contesting candidates in Phase 1 of the elections has been permitted from January 28 onwards

– Public meetings of political parties or contesting candidates in Phase 2 of the elections has been permitted from February 1 onwards

– For door-to-door campaigns, the maximum number of people has been increased from five to ten

– Video vans for publicity have been permitted at designated open spaces, on the condition that Covid norms are followed

Earlier, when the Election Commission had extended the ban on physical rallies till January 22, it had allowed political parties to hold indoor meetings with a maximum of 300 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall.

In a stern message, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had said the poll body will take action against officials who fail to act against violations. The Chief Secretary or District Magistrate will be personally responsible for ensuring that all Covid-related protocol are followed, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) said.

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