Election Commission Extends Ban On Physical Rallies In Five Poll-Bound States

The EC has allowed for certain relaxation on physical public meetings of political parties/contesting candidates for selected phases

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The Election Commission has decided to extend the ban on physical rallies and roadshows in the five-poll bound states till January 31 amid the third wave of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. The decision was reached after a discussion with the Union health secretary and the chief health secretaries of the five states.

However, the commission has allowed for certain relaxation on physical public meetings of political parties/contesting candidates for phase 1 from January 28, for Phase 2 from February 1. The upper limit for which earlier only 5 people could do door-to-door campaigns now has been increased to 10. Video vans will be permitted to be placed for publicity at designated places with covid restrictions.

Initially, the ban was till January 15 and then was extended by a week till January 22. The ban was imposed on January 8 at the time when the Election commission announced the election schedule for these five states; after which the model code of conduct came into effect.

Vaccination coverage and statistics regarding the number of covid cases in these five poll-bound states have been taken into consideration before allowing the relaxations regarding election campaigns.

Uttar Pradesh has 98,238 Covid cases and has inoculated 96% of its population with the first dose in people above the 18 age group. The state of Uttarakhand has given first doses to 99% percent of the population and second doses to 84%. Goa has inoculated 99% of its population who are above 18 of age.

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