Himachal Pradesh’s will be 1st Covid curbs-free polls | India News. indiabusinessport.com

NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh polls will be the first state polls to be held without any major Covid restrictions on campaigning. On Friday, EC said its revised Covid norms will allow outdoor and indoor meetings, rallies, roadshows, padyatras and door-to-door campaigns without any restrictions on number of participants. However, it said organisers will be responsible for any breach of Covid-related protocol and norms, if issued, and that social distancing will be enforced at polling stations.
The EC was earlier briefed about the improved Covid situation countrywide, preparedness to deal any possible spike in number of cases and also decision of NDMA not to invoke provisions of the Disaster Management Act for Covid containment. The revised EC guidelines stick to only asking its polling staff to be fully vaccinated and seeking adherence to the health ministry advisories on the five-fold strategy of test, track, treat, vaccinate and following of Covid-appropriate behaviour.
While EC has asked candidates, parties, campaigners, voters and authorities to always be conscious of public health and safety and observe Covid-appropriate behaviour, it hasn’t specifically sought mandatory wearing of masks as a pre-requisite.
EC on Friday also said it has “zero tolerance” towards distribution of inducement to voters and that it will monitor all such attempts during the Himachal elections.
On Friday, CEC Rajiv Kumar said the existing laws regarding disclosure of funding for manifesto promises would apply for now, as consultations over the proposed change in guidelines issued under the Model Code of Conduct, to include a standardised format of detailed disclosures on financial viability of promises, are still under way.
Comments of parties on the proposed changes in manifesto guidelines are awaited and the next course of action will be decided only after October 19, the deadline for submitting these views.

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