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Assembly Polls 2022: Amid COVID, Digital Registration of Rallies Must On Suvidha Apps. Full List Of Guidelines Here
Given the continuous surge in coronavirus cases, the commission has prohibited all kinds of physical procession or rallies till January 15. The commission will review the dynamic situation on January 15 and further orders will be issued accordingly.
New Delhi: For the convenience of political parties in conducting public campaigns, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched the “Suvidha App”, said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra. Addressing media to announce the schedule for the upcoming assembly polls in 5 states–Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, the CEC said through Suvidha App, the political parties will have the convenience of booking grounds for rallied and fixing schedules for campaigns through virtual mode, instead of getting permission from administration in person.
The decision came at a time when COVID cases are rapidly increasing in the country. Given the continuous surge in coronavirus cases, the commission has prohibited all kinds of physical procession or rallies till January 15. The commission will review the dynamic situation on January 15 and further orders will be issued accordingly.
The commission, however, clarified that the number of people allowed to attend any public procession will be decided based on guidelines issued by state disaster management authorities of the respective state, depending upon the state of COVID-19 infection in the areas, and shall be conducted subject to adherence to extant COVID-19 guidelines.
The maximum limit of persons allowed for indoor and outdoor rally or meeting shall be as per existing direction of respective SDMAs. For these meetings political parties shall distribute masks and sanitizers to persons attending and maintain COVID protocol at entry and exit point.
No Political Procession without Permission
- The EC also announced that political parties will not be permitted to hold rallies and meetings without permission during the upcoming 2022 Vidhan Sabha polls. The Commission directed the District Election Officer to, in advance, identify dedicated grounds for public gathering with clearly marked Entry/Exit points.
- In all such identified grounds, the District Election Officer are directed to ensure that markers for social distancing norms are put in place in advance by organisers of the meeting/rally.
- District Election Officer and District Superintendent of Police are also asked to ensure that the number of attendees do not exceed the limit prescribed by State Disaster Management Authority for public gatherings.
- “DEO should depute Nodal Health officers to oversee that COVID-19 instructions/guidelines are followed during these meetings. The political parties and candidates concerned shall ensure that all COVID-19 related requirement like face masks, sanitizers, thermal scanning etc. are fulfilled during each of election related activities,” the commissions said in an official statment.
- Further, ECI orderd that rallies and meeting shall be allowed only in earmarked places and with prior permissions of district administration.
- Each political party/candidate will have to furnish an undertaking in the application form (under Suvidha App) that it shall abide by all the extant instructions/guidelines in this regard.
- Allocation of public spaces to be done using Suvidha app in the manner already prescribed by Commission.
- Between 8 pm and 8 am no rallies and public meetings (akin to campaign curfew) would be allowed on any campaign day.
- Nukkad Sabhas (meeting) will not be allowed on public roads, round abouts or public streets or corners.
Further, the commission admised political parties and candidates to conduct their campaign as much as possible through digital/virtual/ media platforms /mobile based mode instead of physical mode ensuring strict compliance of Covid safety norms.
Rules for Door to Door Campaigns and Convoy Processions
- A maximum of 5 (five) persons including candidate, excluding security personnel, if any, shall be allowed to do door to door campaigning.
- The convoy of vehicles shall be broken after every 5 (five) vehicles and interval between two sets of convoys of vehicles should be half an hour instead of gap of 100 meters.
- During the permitted campaign period, convoy of vehicles will be allowed only for movement of vehicle from one point to another point for campaigning.
- The maximum number of star campaigners for recognized National/State political parties has been fixed 30 in place of 40, for unrecognized political parties 15 in place of 20.
- Request for permission for campaign by star campaigners may be given at least 48 hours before the start of campaign to make all necessary safety arrangements.
No victory procession
No victory procession after the counting shall be allowed and not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorized representative to receive the certificate of election from Returning Officer.
If a candidate or political party violates any of the above guidelines, no further permission shall be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies, meetings etc.
The Commission on 29th December, 2021 has directed Secretary, MoHFW to issue direction to treat all eligible govt. officials, deployed/engaged for elections, at par with Front Line Workers (FLWs) in the poll going states and to give them additional precaution dose of COVID-19.
Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases from Feb 10 to March 7; Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa to vote on February 14th and Manipur to vote on Feb 27 and March 3.Counting of votes for the five poll-bound states will take place on March 10.
A total of 18.34 crore electors including service voters will take part in the upcoming Assembly elections in Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh are slated to go for Assembly elections this year.
A total of 403 Assembly seats are slated to go to polls in Uttar Pradesh, 70 seats are up for grabs in Uttarakhand, 117 seats in Punjab, 40 seats in Goa and 60 seats in Manipur. Out of these 5 poll-bound states, the BJP is in power in 4 states including Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Leaders from all the political parties are campaigning aggressively for months to register their win in the upcoming polls.