Will ban on election rallies be lifted? Election Commission to take decision today
New Delhi, Jan 15: The Election Commission will on Saturday decide on whether to lift the ban on campaign rallies for the upcoming polls in five states in view of the worsening COVID-19 situation.
The decision will be taken based on inputs about the spread of the virus and its new variant Omicron.
Announcing the schedule of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur on January 8, the panel had taken the unprecedented step of banning public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in view of the pandemic.
The Commission had also listed 16-point guidelines for campaigning as it banned 'nukkad sabhas' (corner meetings) on public roads and roundabouts, limited the number of persons allowed for the door-to-door campaign to five, including the candidate, and prohibited victory processions after the counting of votes.
In a press release on Friday, the EC said that considering the ongoing pandemic and enhanced relevance of non-contact-based campaign, it has, in consultation with Prasar Bharti Corporation, decided to double the broadcast/telecast time allotted to each national party and recognised state party of the five states.
Assembly polls in the five states will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7 and the counting of votes will be on March 10.