Kerala

Candidates must adhere to COVID-19 protocol: Collector

Eco-friendly election materials are trendy for this local body election. Navaneetham Narayanan Kutty, who makes symbols of parties with coconut fronds and plantain stems, exhibits them near the Viyyur jail petrol pump.   | Photo Credit: K.K. Najeeb

District Collector Navjot Khosa has instructed candidates of the upcoming local body polls to stringently adhere to the COVID-19 protocol during electioneering.

The caution comes amid complaints of rampant violation of the norms while campaigning especially when visiting homes. The Collector also directed the police to ensure strict compliance with the protocol.

Violating the Election Commissioner’s instruction to limit the number of visitors to houses to five including the candidate, the model code of conduct (MCC) cell that met on Tuesday witnessed complaints regarding gatherings that throng houses. The number of vehicles permitted for road shows and vehicle rallies have been limited to three. Processions and large congregations have been prohibited.

Candidates are required to obtain prior approval of the police for public meetings. The district authorities have barred presentation of bouquets, floral and note garlands during receptions. Candidates, who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 or enter quarantine, must withdraw from campaigning immediately.

Green protocol

Warning candidates against violating green protocol norms, Dr. Khosa exhorted them to prefer campaign materials made using paper and clothes instead of plastic boards and banners that are detrimental for the environment.

District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram Rural) B. Asokan, Additional District Magistrate V.R. Vinod, Deputy Collector (Election) John V. Samuel, Deputy Director of Panchayats Thresiamma Antony, District Information Officer G. Binsilal, Anti Defacement Squad district nodal officer and Deputy Collector G.K. Suresh also participated in the meeting.

Drive

As many as 4,743 boards that were illegally erected in violation of the polls norms were removed during a special drive conducted across the district. As many as 1,954 boards, 874 flags, and 103 festoons were removed in grama panchayats. Three anti-defacement squads deployed across the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation seized 1,235 boards, 218 banners, 210 flags, and 111 festoons. A total of 1,554 boards and 1,892 other materials were removed from the four municipalities.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:41:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/candidates-must-adhere-to-covid-19-protocol-collector/article33224740.ece

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