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EC extends ban on physical rallies, roadshows in poll-bound states till January 22

4 days ago 7

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows till January 22 in states where assembly elections are scheduled in February-March.
The commission had on January 8 banned rallies and roadshows till January 15, when it announced polls to the five states.
Extension of the ban comes amid a surge in Covid cases across the country, as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur prepare to go to polls.
Read also: Is it time for Indian elections to go digital?
However parties have been allowed to hold indoor meetings with a maximum of 300 people, or 50% capacity of the venue, whichever lower.
The Commission has also directed parties to adhere to the model code of conduct and Covid protocols during electioneering.
The poll panel directed state and district administrations to ensure compliance of all instructions related to the poll code and to the pandemic control measures.
There have been several calls for a ban on rallies and meeting as India witnesses another wave of Covid infections.
Several parties had faced criticism for holding massive rallies amid the pandemic when several states went to polls in April-May last year.
A recent survey by digital community-based platform LocalCircles concluded that 31% people were in favour of postponing the assembly elections, while 41% wanted political rallies banned.

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