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All Officials On Election Duty To Be Fully Vaccinated: How EC Plans Polls For 5 States Amid COVID Cases
Assembly Election 2022 Latest Update: The EC listed out 16-point guidelines for campaigning as it banned 'nukkad sabhas' (corner meetings) on public roads and roundabouts
Assembly Election 2022 Latest Update: Keeping in mind the rising cases of coronavirus and Omicron variant, the Election Commission while announcing the poll schedule for 5 states on Saturday said that the officials on election duty will have to be fully vaccinated. He also added that the election officers who are eligible will be given a booster dose as precaution.
Giving details, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said the public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings will be cancelled till January 15 in the five poll-bound states. He also issued stringent safety guidelines for poll campaigns by political parties.
Announcing the election schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra urged political parties to shift to the digital mode of campaigning and announced the doubling of air time allocated to political parties on public broadcaster Doordarshan for electioneering.
Here’s the vaccination status of officers on election duty in the poll-bound states:
More than 98.5% both doses
99.6% first dose
83% second dose
90% first dose
57% first dose
43% both doses
He also added that the EC had faced severe flak from various quarters after the deadly second wave of COVID-19 hit the country in March-April last year as the holding of assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Assam was among the factors blamed for the surge.
The EC listed out 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 on votes.
He stated that the Commission will not hesitate to bar parties from further rallies if the COVID protocol is not followed. “The poll authority will review the COVID-19 situation on January 15 and take a further call on allowing public rallies,” he said.
He said the polling time has been increased by one hour and the number of electors per polling station has been reduced to 1,250 from 1500.
The Commission also imposed a campaign curfew between 8 PM and 8 AM. There will be no campaigning during this time on any day, Chandra said.
He added that the political parties have been asked to provide masks and hand sanitisers to people attending rallies if such events are allowed.
The Commission has also banned victory celebrations and only two persons will be allowed to accompany the candidate to collect the winning certificate.