Outdoor meeting with 300 persons allowed for Panchayat poll campaigning in Odisha

The State Election Commission (SEC), Odisha has allowed conduct of outdoor meetings with participation of maximum 300 persons for campaigning during ensuing Panchayat election in the state.

Addressing mediapersons here on Monday, State Election Commissioner A.P. Padhi said public meetings can be organised by the political parties/contesting candidates with prior permission of the appropriate authority with maximum 300 persons in open ground subject to strict observance of Covid-19 protocols i.e. compulsory use of face mask and social distancing.

Now, candidates can also conduct door-to-door campaigning with a maximum of 20 persons including the candidate, he said. Earlier, only four persons were allowed to accompany contestants in the door-to-door campaign.

However, all other restrictions imposed on holding bike rally, cycle rally, Padayatra, etc will continue to remain in force, Padhi said.

The Commission has taken this decision after reviewing the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state.

Padhi, who held a review meeting with the collectors this morning, said, the precautionary dose has been administered to about 80 to 90 per cent polling staff while others will get the dose in the next 2 to 3 days.

As per schedule, the Panchayat elections will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. Counting of votes and declaration of results will be done at Block level on February 26, 27 and 28.

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