EC To Meet Health Officials Of Poll-Bound States Tomorrow To Review Covid Curbs

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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India is scheduled to meet the Union Health Secretary and the Chief Health Secretaries of the five poll-bound states on Saturday in a bid to review its decision on the ongoing ban on election rallies and roadshows.

According to a report on news agency ANI, the meeting comes after the ECI banned roadshows and rallies in the five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – that are going to polls next month, in the light of a surge in Covid cases.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India had extended the ban on roadshows and rallies in the poll-bound states till January 22. However, it had permitted indoor meetings of the political parties with 300 persons or 50% of the seating capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities.

During the meeting held over the matter earlier, the Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, accompanied by the Secretary General and the Deputy Election Commissioners concerned conducted a comprehensive review of the present Covid status, with special focus on the five poll-bound states.

They also reviewed the vaccination status and the action plan to speed up the vaccination drive administering first, second and booster dose for the eligible people among the frontline workers and the polling personnel.

Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing in the five states that are to go to polls next month. Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for 403 constituencies will be held in seven phases, Punjab with 117 constituencies will go to polls on February 20 instead of February 14 as decided earlier, Uttarakhand with 70 seats and Goa with 40 constituencies will cast their votes on February 14, and Manipur with 60 seats will have a two-phase election on February 27 and March 3.

The counting of the votes for all the Assembly seats will be held on March 10.

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