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Election Commission extends ban on campaign rallies, roadshows till January 22

The poll body has allowed political parties to hold indoor meetings with a maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall.

Manipur Election 2022 Election Commission extends ban on campaign rallies till January 22 gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Jan 15, 2022, 5:30 PM IST
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The Election Commission on Saturday extended a ban political rallies and roadshows in poll-bound states till January 22. The poll body has allowed political parties to hold indoor meetings with a maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall. It further said political parties must ensure that COVID proper behaviour and rules, as well as the Model Code of Conduct, are followed at all times throughout election-related activities. The Election Commission met with the Union Health Secretary Chief, as well as the Health Secretaries of all poll-bound states and Chief Election Officers, in a series of meetings.

The Union health secretary and the chief health secretaries of the five states told the EC unanimously that the rate of infection had not yet slowed. However, the novel variant Omicron's infection intensity is not as lethal as Delta's. However, they stated that it is not prudent to relax limitations at this time. During the conference, experts and authorities, as well as political party leaders and employees, voiced worry over the general public's apathy and disregard for the Covid protocol and emphasised the importance of rigorous adherence to the guidelines.

Also Read | Election Commission announces polls in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur; schedule inside

The decision prohibiting rallies and roadshows was part of measures intended at holding elections as securely as possible in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur. Previously, the electoral commission issued a complete ban on physical rallies until January 15 during a news conference on January 8 in response to the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Also Read | New COVID protocols to virtual campaigning: Here are 5 key announcements made by EC

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