Assembly Elections 2022 | Elections

Ban on large poll rallies, roadshows to continue till January 31

The BJP’s election campaign vans that were flagged off in Lucknow on January 22, 2022. The Election Commission of India has allowed video vans for publicity.

The BJP’s election campaign vans that were flagged off in Lucknow on January 22, 2022. The Election Commission of India has allowed video vans for publicity.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday decided to continue the ban on large rallies and road shows for next month’s Assembly elections till January 31, but allowed outdoor meetings of up to 500 people for candidates of the first two phases of polling.

The ECI had placed a ban on all physical rallies and processions while announcing the Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand elections on January 8. The ban was extended till Saturday after a review on January 15, while indoor meetings of up to 300 people were allowed.

On Saturday, the election panel once again reviewed the situation by holding meetings with the Union Health Ministry and the States’s chief secretaries, health secretaries and chief electoral officers. The three-member commission held a comprehensive review of the status and projected trends for the COVID-19 pandemic in the five States, an ECI statement said. The panel also reviewed the progress of the vaccination drives in the States.

“The Commission deliberated on relaxing restrictions for physical rallies in the wake of prevailing situation. After taking into consideration inputs and ground reports from these officers, the Commission also deliberated on requirements of the campaign period in phases where candidate list will be finalised on January 27, 2022 for Phase 1 and on January 31, 2022 for Phase 2,” the statement read.

For phase one, which will see 58 Assembly constituencies of U.P. go to the polls on February 10, the EC allowed physical meetings in designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 people or 50% of the capacity of the venue or the limit set by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), whichever is lower, from January 28 to February 8. For phase two, where 55 constituencies of U.P., all 40 seats of Goa and all 70 seats of Uttarakhand will go to polls on February 14, the EC allowed physical meetings from February 1 to February 12.

The ECI enhanced the limit of door-to-door campaigning from five people to 10, excluding security personnel.

“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,” the EC said.

All other guidelines with regard to COVID-19 would continue to apply, the ECI said.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 10:27:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/ban-on-large-rallies-continues-but-eci-allows-meetings-of-500-people-for-phase-1-2/article38309150.ece