Mumbai: The Home Ministry said on Thursday that state governments can now allow political gatherings, in areas where elections are to be held in the recent future, with more than 100 people in those assembly or parliamentary constituencies.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently announced assembly elections in Bihar and by-elections for assembly and parliamentary constituencies in eleven states.
“It is decided that the respective state governments may allow political gatherings on any date before October 15, 2020, beyond the existing limit of 100 persons, only in those assembly or parliamentary constituencies where elections are to be held.”
However, this would be subject to certain conditions such as a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall’s capacity in closed spaces would be permitted with a ceiling of 200 persons, while all COVID-19 guidelines like wearing of masks, provisions for thermal scanning, among others.
For open spaces, the size of the ground must be taken into account, and with strict adherence to the norms of social distance.
Governments of the state and union territories have been asked to issue detailed SOPs to regulate political assemblies and implement it.
Elections to the 243-seat Bihar Legislative Assembly will be held in three phases – 28 October, 3 November, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on 10 November.