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Election Commission To Extend Ban On Public Rallies, Roadshows Due To Covid Surge: Sources

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<p><strong>New Delhi:</strong> The Election Commission is likely to extend the <a title="&lt;strong&gt;ban on public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings&lt;/strong&gt;" href="https://news.abplive.com/elections/election-2022-date-election-2022-assembly-election-2022-assembly-election-2022-date-assembly-election-2022-schedule-1505113" target=""><strong>ban on public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings</strong></a>&nbsp;of political parties in the five poll-bound states due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, sources said.</p>
<p>Last week, while announcing the schedule of elections to five states (Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand), the Election Commission had banned all such rallies and public meetings till January 15.</p>
<p>Sources in the Election Commission said an order extending the ban on physical rallies would be issued on Friday evening or on Saturday.</p>
<p><strong>READ | <a title="Election 2022 Full Schedule HIGHLIGHTS: Polling In 7 Phases From Feb 10" href="https://news.abplive.com/news/india/assembly-election-2022-dates-announcement-live-updates-uttar-pradesh-goa-punjab-manipur-uttarakhand-chunav-eci-guidelines-and-details-1505075" target="">Election 2022 Full Schedule HIGHLIGHTS: Polling In 7 Phases From Feb 10</a></strong></p>
<p>Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will vote on February 14 and Manipur will vote on February 27 and March 3. Counting of votes will be done on March 10.</p>
<p>At the press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had urged political parties to shift to digital mode of campaigning and announced the doubling of air time allocated to political parties on public broadcaster Doordarshan for electioneering.</p>
<p>Listing out 16-point guidelines for campaigning, the EC banned ‘nukkad sabhas’ (corner meetings) on public roads and roundabouts and limited the number of persons allowed for the door-to-door campaign to five, including the candidate.</p>
<p>The commission also banned victory celebrations after counting of votes and said only two persons would be allowed to accompany the candidate to collect the winning certificate.&nbsp;</p>
<p>"The Commission will not hesitate to bar parties from further rallies if the Covid protocol is not followed," Chandra had said.</p>
<p>Chandra said the polling time has been increased by one hour and the number of electors per polling station has been reduced to 1,250 from 1,500.</p>
<p>India on Friday reported 2,64,202 fresh Covid-19 infections, a rise of around 17,000 cases from the previous day, as per Union Health Ministry data. Also, 315 deaths were recorded while the active caseload has jumped to 12,72,072.</p>

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