Ahead of Bihar elections, MHA permits political gatherings in poll-bound constituencies

8 October, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Tejashwi Yadav National

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday has permitted political gatherings with over 100 people in assembly or parliamentary constituencies ahead of Bihar assembly elections. However, the re...

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday said that the State governments can now permit political gatherings, outside containment zones, with over 100 people in attendance in those Assembly or parliamentary constituencies where elections are to be held in the recent coming future.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had recently announced the holding of Assembly elections in Bihar and by-elections in eleven States for Assembly and parliamentary constituencies. “It is decided that the State governments concerned may permit political gatherings, outside the containment zones, beyond the existing limit of 100 persons on any date before October 15, 2020, in those Assembly or parliamentary constituencies only, where elections are to be held,” the order read.

It will, however, be subject to certain conditions like in closed spaces a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons, while following all COVID-19 guidelines like wearing of masks, provisions for thermal scanning, among others.

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For open spaces, the size of the ground has to be kept in view and with strict observance of social distancing norms. The State and Union Territory governments have been asked to issue detailed SOPs to regulate the political gatherings and enforce the same.

Elections to the 243-seat Bihar assembly will be held in three phases–October 28, November 3, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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