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sdma: EC raises daily campaign time, allows padayatras too | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Saturday extended daily timings for poll campaign by four hours – to between 6 am and 10 pm from 8 am to 8 pm earlier – and allowed political parties to hold rallies with up to 50% capacity of open spaces or as per the limit set by the state disaster management authority (SDMA), whichever is less. The earlier limit for outdoor rallies was 30% of the ground’s capacity or as prescribed by SDMA.
For the first time since it announced elections on January 8, the EC has allowed padayatras consisting of no more people than what is allowed under the SDMA guidelines, and only with prior permission of district authorities.
Since the campaigning for polls in Uttarakhand and Goa ended on Saturday evening, the relaxed curbs will essentially apply to the ongoing campaign for the remaining five phases in UP as well as in Punjab and Manipur.
The latest relaxations follow a periodic review of Covid situation in the country, especially with respect to the poll-bound states. EC was informed by the Union health secretary that the ground situation of Covid has significantly improved, with cases fast receding across the country. Even among the reported cases, the higher numbers are from the non-poll-bound states. “Poll-going states are contributing a very small proportion of the total reported cases in India,” the EC said on Saturday.
Based on the above facts and circumstance and the need of parties and candidates for greater participation in elections, the Commission had now further eased the campaign curbs with immediate effect.

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