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Will Ban On Physical Rallies For Assembly Polls be Extended Amid COVID Cases? EC To Take Decision Today

Assembly Election 2022 Latest News Today: The Election Commission had last week extended the ban on physical rallies till January 22.

Updated: January 22, 2022 12:16 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Manmath Nayak

Picture for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: PTI
The EC will take a decision on extending the ban on physical rallies after reviewing the COVID situation in five states.

Assembly Election 2022 Latest News Today: Amid rising cases of coronavirus in the country, the Election Commission would meet on Saturday to decide whether the ban imposed on physical rallies and roadshows to prevent the spread of coronavirus should continue.

While announcing the dates for Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur on January 8, the poll panel had announced a ban on physical rallies, road and bike shows, and similar campaigning events till January 15. And  last Saturday, the Election Commission had extended the ban until January 22.

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The EC had, however, granted a relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum 300 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall, or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities can be held.

Apart from decision on physical rallies, the poll panel will hold a series of virtual meets on Saturday to seek inputs from the Union Health Ministry, experts, the five poll-bound states and respective state chief electoral officers to arrive at a decision.

Last week, the EC had also directed political parties to adhere to the provisions of model code of conduct and the broad guidelines of Covid. The ECI directed state/ district administration to ensure compliance of all instructions related to model code of conduct and Covid.

On January 8, the EC had 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 door-to-door campaign to five, including the candidate, and prohibited victory processions after the counting on votes.

Corona cases: The development comes at a time when the country added 3,47,254 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,85,66,027 which includes 9,692 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The active cases have increased to 20,18,825, the highest in 235 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,88,396 with 703 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 AM stated. There has been a 4.36 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday, the ministry said.

The active cases comprise 5.23 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.50 per cent, the ministry said. An increase of 94,774 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

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