ECI restricts number of people around candidate as part of COVID protocol

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has imposed certain restrictions as regards Filing Nomination and Campaign for the ensuing Elections in Five States and Union Territories in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Announcing the Polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said: “The Number of persons accompanying a candidate to file nomination has been restricted to only two.

The number of Vehicles allowed will be only Two … The Number of Persons in DOOR-TO-DOOR campaign has been restricted to Five, including the Candidate.” “Road shows will be allowed provided the Convoy is broken up after every Five Vehicles,” he added. The restrictions have been imposed with a view to minimise chances of transmission of COVID-19, Arora said.

Since large gatherings will involve in the Electoral activities during the process of Nomination and Campaign, the CEC said: “It is of paramount importance, therefore, to mitigate the likely Health impact and reduce chances of transmission among the People.” Arora also said Several online services will be available in order to reduce Person-to-Person contact. He said Candidate would be able access Electoral Certificates digitally and even deposit security money online. Further the CEC said the Union health ministry has declared all polling personnel as frontline workers for COVID-19 vaccination.

“I am glad to report to you that on the recommendations of the Commission, Health Ministry has already declared all our Polling Officials as Frontline workers for Vaccination,” he said. The CEC also said the ECI will keep close watch on the Election-Bound States as far as the Health aspect is concerned.

He also said the ECI was going to continue with its absentee Voters programme and extend the Postal Ballot facilities to the Senior Citizens 80 years of age.Arora also spoke about increasing the Number of Polling Stations after reducing the Number Voters in every Polling booth to 1000 from earlier 1500. In Assam the Number of Polling Stations have been increased by 34.71 per cent from 24,890 in 2016 to 33,530 in 2021.

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