EC To Meet Health Secy, Top Officials Of Poll-Bound States On Saturday

New Delhi:  The Election Commission of India will hold a review meeting on Saturday with the Union Health Secretary, Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of the five poll-bound states to take stock of the Covid situation.

The five poll bound states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur — are expected to submit the current status of vaccination and Covid caseload in the virtual meeting, sources said.

The sources also said that the poll panel will review the Covid situation in the poll-bound states and accordingly decide about restrictions on campaign, rallies and road shows.

The meeting comes days after the Commission extended the ban on public rallies and road shows in the five poll-bound states by a week, from January 15 to January 22.

The Commission, however, has allowed political parties to hold indoor meetings with up to 300 people or 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity.

On January 15, the EC had held virtual meetings with the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and Chief Electoral Officers, Chief Secretaries and Health secretaries of the five poll-bound states. The three-member Commission held a “comprehensive review of present status and projected trends of Covid pandemic with special focus on the five poll-bound states,” an EC statement had said.

The restrictions on rallies and road shows were first imposed by the Election Commission on January 8, when it announced the poll schedule for the Assembly elections in five states.

Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur will go to the polls between February 10 and March 7, while the counting of votes would be taken up on March 10.

(IANS)