New Delhi, ANI. The Election Commission has banned election rallies and road shows in the voting states till January 22 amid rising cases of corona in the country. The Election Commission has taken this decision due to the assembly elections of five states. The Election Commission today held several meetings with the Union Health Secretary regarding the ban on political rallies. An order banning rallies and road shows in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur to conduct elections as safely as possible has been passed by the Election Commission.

The Election Commission has given some relief to political parties on public meetings and rallies. Now meetings can be held in indoor spaces with a maximum of 300 people or 50 percent of the total capacity. However, the Election Commission has instructed the political parties that the Kovid protocol will have to be strictly followed during these meetings and the model code of conduct should not be violated.

Advice to candidates to rally through virtual mode

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had said last week that candidates should campaign through virtual mode as much as possible. There will be no street gatherings on public roads and no victory processions after the counting of votes.

Earlier, there was a ban on politics rallies and road shows till January 15.

The Election Commission, while announcing the schedule of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur on January 8, had banned rallies, road shows and street meetings till January 15 in view of the pandemic.

Corona cases increasing rapidly in electoral states

Significantly, elections are being held in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand, while there has been a catastrophic increase in corona cases across the country, including some polling states. Uttar Pradesh has registered a whopping 1,300 per cent increase in corona infections in the first week of this month, while 16 out of 22 districts in Punjab have a positivity rate of more than five per cent, which is an alarming level.

Edited By: Dhyanendra Singh Chauhan