New Delhi: Amid rising cases of COVID-19 across the country, the Election Commission of India on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows until January 22 in five states where Assembly elections are slated to take place next month.
"ECI extends ban on physical rallies and roadshows until 22 January, 2022. ECI grants 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," the Election Commission informed.
Moreover, the Election Commission has directed political parties to adhere to the provisions of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and the broad guidelines of COVID-19.
"ECI directs State/District Administration to ensure compliance of all instructions related to MCC and COVID," the poll body stated.
On January 8, the Election Commission had directed that no physical political rallies and roadshows will be allowed till January 15 for Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
"No physical rally of political parties or probably candidates or any other group related to elections shall be allowed till January 15. The Election Commission will subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra said while addressing a press conference here.
"No roadshows, padyatras, cycle or bike rallies and processions shall be allowed till January 15. Situation to be reviewed and fresh instructions to be issued later," the CEC said.
Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases from February 10 to March 7; Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa to vote on February 14th and Manipur to vote on February 27 and March 3. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.