EC bans bike rallies in poll-going seats 72 hours before voting day

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New Delhi Mar 22 (PTI) The Election Commission on Monday banned 'bike rallies' 72 hours before the date of polling and on the polling day in all election-going constituencies amid reports that 'anti-social elements' use motor bikes to intimidate voters.

In a directive issued to chief electoral officers of poll-bound West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry, the poll body pointed out that it has been brought to its notice that 'in some places bikes are used by anti-social elements to intimidate the voters before the poll day and/or on poll day.' After considering the reports, the Commission has decided that 'bike rallies shall not be allowed at any place 72 hours before date of poll or on the poll day in all poll-going constituencies,' the directive said.

The EC also asked its chief electoral officers to inform all stakeholders concerned, including candidates, political parties and the Commission's observers, to ensure strict compliance of the directions.

Elections to the five assemblies will begin on March 27 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2.