As part of detailed Covid-19 guidelines issued for the bypolls to eight Assembly seats in Gujarat on November 3, the state government has prohibited the use of sofas on the stage built for political gatherings and also stated that such gatherings should be limited to 200 persons.
Prior permission of respective district magistrates or police commissioners has to be sought for organising any election-related activities in the eight Assembly seats that will be going to polls, a notification from the state Home department stated in Ahmedabad on Friday. The requests should contain the date of the event, the time, the venue and an estimated number of attendees. The organiser will be responsible for ensuring that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to election gatherings are followed.
Election campaigning in closed spaces will be restricted to 50 percent capacity of the said space or a maximum of 200 persons. In open spaces, considering the size of the open ground, permission can be granted for more than a 100 persons. The same be done only if a distance of six feet is maintained, thermal screening is conducted and masks and sanitisers are used. Markings to help maintain social distancing should also be made, the government stated. Police and election officials will have to ensure that the number of people attending such political rallies do not exceed the permitted numbers.
Sofas will not be allowed on the stage of such events. Only chairs will be permitted on the stage — which if large enough, can accommodate a maximum of 14 people. Otherwise, the limit is seven persons.
Candidates contesting the polls can file their nomination forms and affidavits online. They can then take a printout and submit it to the returning officer. The candidate, while submitting the nomination form, cannot have more than two people accompanying him and can only use two vehicles. Distance should be maintained between vehicles participating in a bike rally or road show. There should be adequate distance between five vehicles (instead of 10 vehicles) participating in road shows. This number of vehicles excludes the vehicles of security personnel. Instead of the distance of 100 metres between two sets of vehicles in the cavalcade, there should be a time difference of 30 minutes.
Abdasa, Limbdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dangs and Kaprada are the eight Assembly seats for which bypolls will be held on November 3.
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