More curbs imposed on ULBs’ campaigning

The State Election Commission (SEC) has imposed more restrictions on the campaigning for elections to seven urban local bodies (ULBs) and also curtail the total period for electioneering by deciding to end it 72 hours before the end of polling schedule on April 30 or till 5 p.m. on April 27.

The decisions were taken after reviewing the ongoing campaigning by political parties at a meeting held here on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi, who observed that there were several instances of election meetings and campaigning wherein norms of social distancing, wearing of masks and others were flouted in blatant disregard to the guidelines issued by the Commission.

“The Commission has taken a serious view of the repeated violations of the COVID-19 guidelines by star campaigners, political leaders and candidates who were supposed to scrupulously follow the norms. They have been grossly violating COVID-19 protocols there by exposing themselves as well as the public to the danger of infection”, Mr. Parthasarathi said.

In view of unprecedented public health concerns, the Commission was of the considered view that the period of campaign needs to be curtailed in larger public interest and also to issue guidelines to be followed from now on, Commission Secretary M. Ashok Kumar said. Accordingly, it has been decided not to allow any rallies, public meetings, street plays and local meetings on any day during the days of campaign between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. with effect from April 22.

The silence period for rallies, public meetings, street plays, local meetings, bike rallies or any other gathering for campaign purposes would be extended to 72 hours before the end of the polling timings or from 5 p.m. on April 27.

Other restrictions outlined for the remainder of the campaigning period by the SEC., including allowing a group of only five persons, including the candidate, but excluding the personal security officers, if any, of any of the five persons for the door-to-door campaigning following regular COVID-19 norms. During the road shows, the convoy of vehicles should be broken after every two vehicles, excluding the security vehicles, if any and the interval between two sets of convoy of vehicles should be at least 10 meters. Besides, there shall be at least half-an-hour gap between the road shows of two different political parties or candidates on the same route.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:44:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/more-curbs-imposed-on-ulbs-campaigning/article34388247.ece

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