UP panchayat polls: Only five people will be allowed during door-to-door campaigning, says SEC

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Lucknow, Mar 22 (PTI) In view of the coronavirus situation in Uttar Pradesh, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday said not more than five people will be allowed to accompany a candidate during door-to-door campaigning for the panchayat elections.

A letter in this regard has been sent to all the district magistrates.

Additional Election Commissioner Ved Prakash Verma said a three-member team will be formed under the additional district magistrates to ensure the directives issued by the SEC are being followed.

At the district-level, the chief medical officers have been made nodal officers and stress has been laid on COVID-19 prevention.

The SEC has emphasised on provision of sanitiser, soaps and water for the candidates while they come to file their nomination papers.

It has also been decided that only one candidate will be allowed to enter the room of the election officer.

Similarly, during polling, the voters will have to put up a mask and maintain social distancing. Instructions have also been issued to make circles at a distance of six-feet at the polling centres.

Verma said COVID-19 norms will also be followed during counting of votes and added that PPE kits will also be arranged as per requirement.

The Allahabad High Court had recently asked the state government to complete the panchayat election process by May 25.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh reported 542 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the infection tally in the state to 6,08,076, the UP government said in a statement.

Of the fresh COVID-19 cases, state capital Lucknow reported 147 cases, among others A COVID-19 patient died in Kanpur taking the total number of fatalities in the state to 8,760.

The count of active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 3,396, the statement said. PTI NAV SNE