Taking cognisance of reports of massive gatherings that violate Covid-19 protocols, the Election Commission of India directed the District Election Officer of West Garo Hills to hold an emergency meeting with representatives of political parties involved in the upcoming Rajabala by-election.
The meeting was held over reported violations. The DEO had received instruction from the state’s Chief Electoral Officer to remind the parties that they are duty bound to strictly adhere to all Covid protocols during the election campaign.
The DEO, Ram Singh, added that broad guidelines were available in this regard and reminded all the party functionaries to adhere to the guidelines strictly, especially while organizing outdoor campaigns.
Stressing on a few points, he said that 50 percent capacity is allowed for public gathering or rallies subject to adherence to protocols like wearing of facemasks, maintaining appropriate physical distance, etc and a maximum of 1,000 persons only in case of star campaigners.
“Moreover, the ground for public gathering should be barricaded, especially for star campaigners, and only five persons are allowed for door-to-door campaigns. Road shows are not allowed. Candidates or campaigners are advised to wear facemasks, follow Covid-19 protocols during the campaign and organizers also should request the public to do the same,” said the DEO.
He further reminded that the 7pm deadline for campaigning needs to be followed strictly.
Meanwhile, the General Observer for the Rajabala by-poll, Sandesh Nayak, also appealed to everyone to follow the rules and regulations, including Covid-19 protocols as laid down for the smooth conduct of the elections in the district.