New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India will hold a review meeting today with the Union Health Secretary, Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of the five poll-bound states to take stock of the Covid situation in the country. The review meeting is regarding EC's ban on election roadshows and rallies in five poll-bound states in wake of the deteriorating COVID situation in the country.

The five poll-bound states -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur -- are expected to submit the current status of vaccination and Covid caseload in the virtual meeting. 

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra will hold virtual meetings with the Health Secretary, Chief Secretary, and Chief Electoral Officers of five poll-bound states to take stock of the situation as India is reporting a continuous rise in COVID-19 cases.

The meeting comes days after the Commission extended the ban on public rallies and roadshows in the five poll-bound states by a week, from January 15 to January 22. The Commission, however, has allowed political parties to hold indoor meetings with up to 300 people or 50 per cent of the venue's capacity.

On January 15, the EC had held virtual meetings with the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and Chief Electoral Officers, Chief Secretaries and Health secretaries of the five poll-bound states. The three-member Commission held a "comprehensive review of the present status and projected trends of Covid pandemic with special focus on the five poll-bound states," an EC statement had said.

The Election commission's aim is to have maximum voters vaccinated before the elections held in these particular states. Uttar Pradesh which currently has 98,238 active COVID 19 cases has inoculated 96 per cent of its population with the first dose in the 18 plus category.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand inoculated 99 per cent of its population with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 84 per cent of its population with the second dose. Goa has vaccinated 98 per cent of its population above 18 years of age with a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The restrictions on rallies and roadshows were first imposed by the Election Commission on January 8, when it announced the poll schedule for the Assembly elections in five states. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur will go to the polls between February 10 and March 7, while the counting of votes would be taken up on March 10.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan