BHOPAL: By-elections in Madhya Pradesh will not be easy for the officials engaged in conducting it besides the candidates in the fray. Corona guidelines issued after Supreme Court intervention have added more steps for the contestants, said the guidelines of Election Commission of India.
The contestants will have to keep account that the gatherings do not violate corona protocol. The ECI guidelines say that the district election officer will identify dedicated grounds that have clear entry and exit points.
Moreover, organisers of the gatherings will also put markers (circles) to ensure social distancing. District officers have authority to ask the organizers to keep count of the people gathered. Violations will invite penal action, according to the guidelines of the ECI.
Candidates have been asked to focus on door-to-door campaigning and avoid big gatherings.
ECI has also put the onus on political parties and contestants to ensure that all Covid 19 related requirements are fulfilled in political gatherings and rallies.
Based on the guidelines—which are related to poll arrangement and preventive measures—the Chief Electoral Officers will prepare comprehensive plans for their respective states in consultation with their nodal officers to conduct the elections.
The nomination form will be available on the chief electoral officer or the district electoral officer’s website. Candidates can also fill their affidavits on the CEO or DEO’s website and have the option of depositing the security money online.
There should be a maximum of 1,000 electors in a polling station.
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the ECI had last year set some general guidelines for elections during the pandemic. Basic Covid-19 rules of social distancing, thermal scanning, sanitisation, use of masks among other things, have been highlighted.
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