Politics News

Covid-19 Curbs Relaxed for Panchayat Polls in Odisha

Keeping in view the declining trend of covid-19, the State Election Commission (SEC), Odisha has relaxed some restrictions, which were imposed earlier last month for the ensuing Panchayat Polls-2022.

Briefing media persons here, State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhee on Monday said the previous guidelines have been modified after a review of the current covid situation.

As per the revised guidelines, poll candidates are now allowed to carry out a door-to-door campaign taking 20 persons, including the contestant himself/herself. Earlier, five persons were allowed for the purpose.

Besides, public meetings can be organized by political parties or the candidates on open grounds with the participation of a maximum of 300 people. However, prior permission of the appropriate authority should be taken before the conduct of the same. Also, strict observance of covid-19 protocols like wearing masks and social distancing should be ensured during such events, the SEC added.

The relaxations came into effect today. Earlier, the SEC had restricted any kind of physical rally by political parties or the candidates for the upcoming elections.

“The decision has been made following the review of the Covid-19 situation. A reassessment meeting was held with district Collectors and it was found that a precautionary dose has been administered to about 80 to 90 per cent of polling staff. There are plans to achieve a 100 per cent target in the next 2 to 3 days, said Aditya Prasad Padhi, State Election Commissioner, Odisha.

“The candidates can conduct door-to-door campaigning with a maximum of 20 persons. Earlier, only five persons were allowed to accompany contestants in the door-to-door campaign,” he added.

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