However, according to an official statement, the Election Commission has given freedom to political parties to hold meetings at closed places with a maximum participation of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the hall capacity or subject to the limits set by the State Disaster Management Officers (SDMAs). Huh.
The Election Commission said that it has taken the decision after considering the present situation, facts and circumstances. Also, while taking the decision, the information received in the digital meetings held on Saturday with the Union Health Ministry, Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers of the election states has been kept in mind.
“No roadshow, padyatra, cycle, bike, vehicle rally and procession will be allowed till January 22, 2022,” the statement said. The commission will review the situation later and issue further directions accordingly.
The Commission has said that till January 22, no direct rally of candidates or any other group of candidates including political parties or potential candidates will be allowed.
The commission also directed the political parties to follow the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and COVID-19 Appropriate Practices and Guidelines during election related activities.
Also, directed the state and district administrations to ensure compliance of all instructions related to the election code of conduct and epidemic control measures.
Let us inform that on January 8, the Election Commission, while announcing the assembly election schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab, had decided to ban public rallies, road shows and similar direct campaign programs till January 15. .
Various regional parties then urged the Election Commission to relax norms banning direct rallies, saying digital rallies would help only those wealthy political parties, which have more resources to organize.
The commission had also listed 16-point guidelines for campaigning during that period and banned gatherings on public roads and squares. The number of people for the door-to-door campaign was limited to five, including the candidate, and victory processions were banned after the counting of votes.
During Saturday’s meetings, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, conducted a comprehensive review of the current situation and projected trends in the COVID-19 pandemic, with special emphasis on the five states where elections are due.
The commission also discussed the SDMA’s restrictions and state specific existing guidelines regulating the norms of gathering of persons during the pandemic period.
Assembly elections in five states will be held from February 10 to March 7 and counting of votes will take place on March 10. Elections are to be held in Uttar Pradesh in seven phases and voting for the first phase will be held on February 10.
Case registered against BJP MLA and 27 supporters
Muzaffarnagar: Meanwhile, a case has been registered against BJP MLA from Purkaji assembly seat of Uttar Pradesh Pramod Utwal and 27 of his supporters for violating the election code of conduct and rules related to COVID. Officials gave this information on Sunday.
According to the FIR lodged with the police, this action was taken after a video surfaced on social media. In the video, khichdi is purportedly seen being distributed during the MLA’s public meeting in Meghna Chandan village.
Purkaji police station sub-inspector Lokesh Singh said that a case has been registered against the MLA and his supporters under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act on Saturday.
It is worth noting that on January 14, the Samajwadi Party (SP) had organized a big public meeting in the party office premises in Lucknow, defying the COVID rules. Due to which a case was registered against 2500 SP workers.
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