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MC polls: Panchkula admn issues guidelines after campaigners give Covid norms the go-by

The administration warned political parties of action for flouting Covid protocols.
Hindustan Times, Panchkula | By Tanbir Dhaliwal
UPDATED ON DEC 23, 2020 11:30 PM IST

The administration on Wednesday issued instructed for campaigning for the Panchkula MC elections after finding that political parties and candidates had been lax in observing precautions by not wearing a mask and ignoring social distancing at events and congregations.

With only two days left for campaigning, political leaders, especially mayoral candidates have held gatherings involving hundreds of people, wherein social distancing norms were disregarded and only a few were found wearing masks properly.

A few pictures of these rallies where Covid-19 norms were given the go-by, reached the state election commissioner who then directed the deputy commissioner to hold another meeting with the candidates.

“The election commission had issued Covid-19 guidelines and a meeting of all political leaders and independent candidates was chaired by the DC informing them to strictly adhere to the norms such wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” said Dalip Singh, state election commissioner.

He said that action will be initiated against those violating norms. “The violators will be served notices, chargesheeted and fined under the National Disaster Management Act,” Singh added.

Additional deputy commissioner and returning officer, Mohammad Imran Raza said, “Following the letter, the returning officer and assistant returning officers held a meeting with all candidates who have been given strict instructions to follow the norms.”

DC caps public gatherings to 100 people

In order to curb the spread of the deadly virus, Panchkula DC Mukesh Kumar Ahuja issued fresh guidelines which stated that only 100 people will be allowed to attend a meeting. He said that if the meeting is taking place in the ground, the number can be increased to 200.

According to the guidelines, not more than five persons are allowed during door-to-door campaigning. Also, pregnant women, children below 10 years and elderly persons must not be a part of any gathering.

The DC has appointed 12 duty magistrates to ensure voting is done in a peaceful and transparent manner. Each duty magistrate will look after areas of 10-12 polling booths.

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