Election Commission cracks down on road shows, pad yatras, cycle rallies; allows public meetings for up to 500 people

The Election Commission (EC) today announced new restrictions on electoral campaigning, prohibiting roadshows, pad yatras, and cycle rallies completely; with public meetings allowed for up to 500 people with social distancing.

The EC also declared that any prior permission given for any roadshow, cycle/bike/vehicle rally, if granted already, stands withdrawn.

The Commission also acknowledged with anguish that many political parties and candidates are not adhering to the safety norms prescribed by the EC during public gatherings, which is making it difficult for the state/district election machinery to enforce the guidelines.

These new norms regarding bike rallies and public gatherings have already gone into effect as of 7 PM today. Incidentally, today Mamata Banerjee held a major rally in Dakshin Dinajpur, whereas PM Modi decided to cancel all rallies in West Bengal tomorrow in order to chair a high-level meeting reviewing the COVID-19 situations.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia