As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in India, the Election Commission on Saturday extended its ban on physical gatherings and roadshows until January 22 in the five poll-related states.
The polling panel, however, granted flexibility to political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of a maximum of 300 people or 50% of the room’s capacity, or the limit prescribed by the disaster management authorities of the state, an official statement said. .
The Commission has also ordered political parties to abide by the provisions of the model code of conduct and broader Covid-19 guidelines. The polling committee asked state and district governments to ensure compliance with all instructions relating to the ballot code and pandemic measures.
In announcing the polling schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Manipur, Goa and Punjab on January 8, the EC had taken an unprecedented step by banning public gatherings, road shows and similar physical campaign events until January 15. The ban has now been extended for another week.