Bhubaneswar, Feb 7 (PTI) The State Election Commission (SEC), Odisha on Monday relaxed COVID restrictions for candidates to campaign for the three-tier panchayat polls allowing them to hold election meetings with 300 people and also door to door campaigning with 20 persons.
The SEC allowed 20 people including the candidate to go for door to door campaigning in the panchayat polls from Monday. Earlier, the restriction was participation of five persons including the candidate for the door to door campaigning, said State Election Commissioner A P Padhi after holding a virtual meeting with district collectors.
Stating that the relaxation has been made keeping in view the decline in the number of COVID-19 infection across the state, Padhi also allowed election meetings with participation of 300 people. He, however, said that all the participants in the outdoor election meetings must maintain social distancing and wear mandatory masks to avoid the spread of infection.
Earlier, the SEC had banned election meetings. Padhi, however, said that rallies, padayatra, roadshows, motorcycle shows will continue to be restricted.
The panchayat polls will be held in five phases between February 16 and February 24. The counting of votes will be held on February 26, 27 and 28.
The SEC said that the meeting with district collectors revealed that precautionary dose has been administered to about 80 to 90 per cent the the polling staff. There are plans to achieve 100 per cent target in the next 2 to 3 days, he said.
On the forthcoming Urban civic body polls in the state, the SEC said that the final draft publication of the electoral roll will be published by February 10. PTI AAM RG RG
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Source: The Print