Ahmedabad, Oct 10 (PTI) The Gujarat government has issued SOPs related to election campaign for the November 3 bypolls to eight Assembly seats, restricting the number of people who can attend a poll-related event in a closed space to 200 or 50 per cent of the venue's capacity.
As per the guidelines issued by the state home department on Friday in view of the COVID-19 situation, not more than five persons can take part in a door-to-door campaign.
'As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), prior approval of the district magistrate or police commissioner will be required for organising election-related activities, and not more than 200 persons or up to 50 per cent of the venue's capacity will be allowed at an election rally held in a closed space,' the government said in a release.
'More than 100 participants will be allowed for an election-related event on open ground after considering the size of the venue, and on the condition that the participants maintain a physical distancing of six feet and cover their face during the entire event. There should be a facility for thermal scanning and use of sanitiser,' it added.
During public meetings and rallies, not more than seven persons can sit on separate chairs on a stage and they will have to maintain social distancing, it said, adding that the use of sofa has been disallowed.
In case the stage is large, maximum 14 people, seven in each row, can be allowed, it added.
'During the door-to-door campaign, only five persons, including the candidate, can participate. Also, not more than two persons and two vehicles will be allowed during the submission of nomination papers to the returning officers after filling the form online,' it said.
For any election-related programme, the organisers will have to get prior approval of the District Magistrate or Police Commissioner, in which they have to mention the date, time, place of the event, and the estimated number of participants, the government said.
For road shows or bike rallies, proper distance will have to be maintained between every group of five vehicles in a fleet.
'A public gathering or rally can only be organised in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines. The District Election Officer will have to decide in advance the grounds earmarked for the rally or meeting, with markings for maintenance of social distance and a proper arrangement for entry and exit,' the government stated.
The District Election Officer and the Superintendent of Police will have to ensure that the number of people does not exceed the prescribed limit, it said.
'Political parties and candidates should ensure that measures against COVID-19, such as use of face cover, sanitiser, thermal screening, etc, are followed,' it said.
By-elections will be held in Abdasa, Limdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada (ST), Karjan, Dangs (ST) and Kaprada (ST) constituencies. These seats fell vacant after the resignation of the then Congress MLAs. PTI KA PD NP NP