ECI Extends Ban on Physical Rallies And Roadshows Until January 22

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) today held a virtual meeting with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as also the Chief Electoral Officers of these five poll going States.

Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey accompanied by Secretary General and concerned Deputy Election Commissioners held a comprehensive review of present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic with special focus in the five poll going states.

Vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing vaccination for 1st, 2nd and booster dose for eligible persons amongst Frontline workers and polling personnel was also reviewed. The Commission also discussed SDMA’s restrictions and state specific extant guidelines regulating the norms of gathering of persons during the period of pandemic.

Now, therefore, after considering the present situation, facts and circumstances as also the inputs received in these meetings, the Commission has directed as follows:

No road show, Pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till 22 January 2022. Commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly.

No physical rally of Political parties or candidates (including probable) or any other group related to election shall be allowed till 22 January 2022.

However, the Commission has granted relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum of 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA will be allowed.

Political parties shall ensure the compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour & guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections.