Election Commission to take call on holding poll rallies, roadshows today


New Delhi  : Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra will hold a series of virtual meetings on Saturday with the Health Secretary, Chief Secretary, and Chief Electoral Officers of five poll-bound states before taking a call on holding poll rallies and roadshows, said sources. To begin with, Chandra will take feedback of Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan who will brief the overall picture of Covid Cases in the country and measures taken, instructions issued to states to combat the surge of Covid-19 cases to Commission. As of today, India reported 2,68,833 fresh COVID cases (4,631 more than yesterday) and 1,22,684 recoveries in the last 24 hours. Total 14,17,820 active cases are in the country with a daily positivity rate of 16.66 per cent. This week Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also taken a meeting with the Chief Ministers of States. After that, Commissioner Sushil Chandra will meet with the Health Secretary and Chief Secretary of poll-bound five states. The last scheduled meeting is with Chief Electoral Officers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa Earlier on January 8, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided that no physical rallies, roadshow, pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till January 15, 2022. The commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly. A call on the political gatherings will be taken after January 15 depending on the dynamic situation of the pandemic’s third national wave, Chandra said. He said the duration of polling will be extended by an hour amid the Covid restrictions. Meanwhile, ECI on Friday organized a briefing for Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, informed ECI. Over 1,400 officials attended the sessions in a hybrid model, added ECI (Agencies)