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ECI extends ban on physical rallies and roadshows till Jan 31

The Commission also held virtual meetings with Chief Secretaries, Chief Electoral Officers and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. 

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Imphal: The Election Commission of India Saturday held a review meeting with the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India through virtual mode.

The Commission also held virtual meetings with Chief Secretaries, Chief Electoral Officers and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. 

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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 the present situation with respect to status and projected trends of COVID pandemic in the five poll going states. The Commission also reviewed Vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing vaccination for 1st, 2nd and booster doses for eligible persons amongst polling personnel. 

After considering the present situation, facts and circumstances as also the inputs received in these meetings, Commission decided that no roadshow, pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession will be allowed till January 31, 2022. Commission has decided to allow physical meetings of concerned Political parties or contesting candidates in designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 persons or 50% of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by SDMA, whichever number is lesser, from January 28, 2022 till February 8, 2022 (excluding the silence period). 

Since contesting candidates for Phase 2 elections will be finalised on January 31 2022, Commission has decided to allow physical meetings of concerned Political parties or contesting candidates with the public in designated open spaces with a maximum of 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 till February 12, 2022 (excluding the silence period). 

The Commission has also enhanced the limit of door to door campaign from 5 persons to 10 persons, excluding security personnel. Commission has already granted relaxation for the political parties for indoor meetings of a maximum of 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA is allowed. 

Commission has also allowed video vans for publicity with usual COVID restrictions at designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 viewers or 50 % of the capacity or the limit set by SDMA, whichever number is lesser, in the poll going States subject to public convenience and no hindrance to smooth flow of traffic. 

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. The Commission directed the DEO concerned to identify and to notify the designated spaces in advance for the video vans, as per a press note issued by Joint Director (Media)Anuj Chandak. 

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