New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission on Wednesday said that it will not allow state election candidates and their agents inside the vote counting centres on May 2 without a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report or complete vaccination reports showing administration of two vaccine doses. This comes a day after the EC banned victory celebrations over the results for the Assembly Elections in four states and 1 UT on May 2.

"No candidates or agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RT-PCR/RAT test or without having two doses of vaccination against Covid-19 and will have to produce negative RT-PCR report or RAT report or vaccination reports within 48 hours of the start of counting," the guideline read.

The Election Commission also banned public gatherings outside counting centres on the counting day on May 2. "No public gathering outside the counting venue will be allowed during the process of counting". 

This comes a day after the Election Commission on Tuesday banned all victory processions after counting of votes in states where assembly polls were held to check the spread of coronavirus. The counting of votes will be held in Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry on May 2.

While the eighth and last phase of the election will be held in West Bengal on April 29, the voting exercise is over in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry.

"In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the Commission has decided to make more stringent provision to be followed during the process of counting ...No victory procession after the counting on May 2 shall be permissible," an order issued by the poll body to chief electoral officers of all states and UTs said.

It also said that "Not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative receive the certificate of election from the returning officer concerned." The decision to ban victory processions came a day after the Madras High Court came down heavily on the poll panel for failing to implement COVID guidelines during campaigning.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan