EC reduces campaign ban peroid, allows padyatras

Poll panel has allowed political parties and candidates to campaign from 6 am to 10 pm

New Delhi: Considering the substantial reduction in Covid cases nationwide as well as in the five poll-bound states, the Election Commission of India on Saturday announced further relaxation of curbs on campaigning for the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

The poll panel has allowed political parties and candidates to campaign from 6 am to 10 pm following Covid appropriate behaviour and the protocols put in place by the State Disaster Management Authorities. Earlier, campaigning was banned from 8 pm to 8 am.

The political parties or candidates can hold meetings and rallies with up to 50 per cent capacity in the designated open spaces or the limits prescribed by the SDMAs, whichever is lesser, said the Election Commission.

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However, the political parties or candidates will have to take prior permission from thr district administration for padyatras with only the permitted number of persons as per the SDMA limitations.

“Padyatra consisting not more than permitted number of persons as per SDMA limitations and only with prior permission of districts authorities will be allowed,” the EC said.

All other existing provisions related to electioneering shall continue to be in place, the Commission said.

Earlier, the poll panel took a periodic review of the Covid status in the country, especially in the poll-bound states.

“The poll-bound states are contributing a very small proportion of the total reported cases in the country. All-India figures of Covid cases are fast receding from around 3.47 lakh on January 21 to just about 50,000 as on today. In the poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, the total number of cases, which was more than 32,000 on January 22, has come down to around 3,000 as on February 12,” the Election Commission said in a statement.

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