The Election Commission of India on Tuesday lifted the limit on the number of people allowed to attend election rallies and meetings in the poll-bound states of Manipur and Uttar Pradesh in view of a decline in coronavirus cases in the country.
In a press note, the poll panel said that political parties can now hold roadshows as well with prior permission of district authorities. However, the permission to hold rallied and roadshows would be subject to regulations imposed by disaster management authorities in the states.
On January 8, while announcing the poll schedule, the Election Commission had banned all physical rallies, roadshows, processions and vehicle rallies till January 15 due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
On February 6, the Election Commission had fixed a 50% capacity limit for rallies or meetings in indoor places, and a 30% capacity limit in outdoor places, “or as fixed by DEO [district election officer] as per requirement of the social distancing norms and whichever is less”.
However, the ban on roadshows, processions and vehicle rallies remained.
On Tuesday, the poll panel said that the daily Covid-19 infection count has dropped to the “minimum level” in the country.
India on Tuesday reported 13,405 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s cumulative tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 4,28,51,929. The number of new cases was 16.48% lower than Monday’s figure of 16,051 infections.
Elections in Uttarakhand and Goa were held on February 14, while in Punjab it was held on February 20.
Three phases of voting in Uttar Pradesh were held on February 10, February 14 and February 20. The remaining phases will take place on February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7.
Manipur will go to polls in two phases on February 27 and March 3.