Home ministry modifies Covid-19 guidelines for 12 poll-bound states, allows political rallies with immediate effect
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday modified its Covid-19 guidelines issues on September 30 for 12 states where elections are scheduled to be held.
The new MHA order allows political rallies to be held in these states with immediate effect. These gatherings were originally prohibited till October 15.
The announcement will have an impact on Bihar’s electoral preparations as large gatherings were not allowed under the Covid-19 preventative rules due to which political parties could not hold electoral rallies and gatherings.
Apart from Bihar, the other states where elections (bypolls) are scheduled to be held are Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Nagaland and Odisha. Poll preparations are underway for the bypoll elections in Madhya Pradesh which are being contested on 28 seats.
The home ministry has asked all political parties to ensure that people follow all measures taken to prevent the curbing of Covid-19. It has said that all the rules mentioned in its guidelines issued on September 30 must be adhered to.
Bihar will vote in three phases - the first phase of voting will be held on October 28, November 3, and November 7. The results of the election will be declared on November 10. The voting for 28 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh will be held in November 3 and the results will be announced on November 10.
Bihar will also be among the first Indian states where the polls will be held under the shadow of the pandemic. The Delhi Assembly Elections were also held when the coronavirus pandemic was spreading in China and Italy but it had not impacted India largely during those months. Other countries which held elections amid Covid-19 are Korea, Belarus, Israel, Hong Kong and Poland. United States will also contest presidential elections on November 2020.