With a dip in coronavirus cases in the country, the election commission of India has relaxed pandemic-induced restrictions on the assembly poll campaign in five states. As per the latest ease in curbs by the poll commission, padayatras with limited numbers have been allowed and campaign hours have also been extended.
Here’s the new announcement by the election campaign as Covid cases decline:
1. The election campaigns can now be conducted between 6 am and 10 pm instead of earlier 8 am to 8 pm, following all Covid-appropriate behaviour and protocols of state disaster management authorities. This will give candidates and parties four more hours to campaign in a day
2. Political parties and candidates can campaign with a maximum of 50% of the capacity of the designated open spaces or the limit prescribed by state disaster management authorities, whichever is less.
3. On padayatra, the EC said such a gathering cannot consist of more people than the number permitted by state disaster management authorities. Prior permission of district authorities will be needed.
The election-bound states are contributing a very small proportion of the total reported cases in the country. All India figures of Covid cases are fast receding from around 3.47 lakh on January 21 to just about 50,000 as of Saturday.
In the poll-going states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, and Goa, the total number of cases which were more than 32,000 at peak on January 22 this year, has come down to around 3,000 on February 12, as per the Centre’s data.