New Delhi: Braving the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s return to ‘normalcy reaffirmed’ on Friday with the Election Commission (EC) announcing the three-phase Bihar Assembly polls from October 28.
According to Election Commission (EC) sources, notwithstanding demands from parties like Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and RJD to defer the exercise in view of rising pandemic cases, the EC guidelines will ensure physical campaigning as well as conduct of poll on time with strict adherence to social distancing norms.
Earlier, the sources said, that the EC guidelines, will require candidates to be accompanied by only two people during filing of nomination, limit the vehicles allowed in a road show to five, ensure two feet distance among spectators at public meetings and rallies, besides allowing just three people to visit houses during door- to -door campaign.
It also hinted that all members of the public attending rallies will have to wear masks while Health officials may be roped in to oversee adherence to the ministry norms.
The EC also took care of parties’ concerns about “too much reliance” on digital campaigning – a proposition that would give cash-rich parties an “unfair advantage” – by allowing rallies and door-to-door campaign, the sources said.
The EC’s ‘proactiveness,’ braving COVID and announcing the Bihar poll dates, has encouraged the electorate in Bengal, another Covid-stricken state, where the Assembly elections are due in 2021.