New Delhi: As the dates for by-elections has been announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI), in new guidelines the maximum number of ‘star campaigners’ for recognised national and state parties has been reduced from 40 to 30 and for unrecognised political parties from 20 to 15.
The elections 56 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat in Bihar were pending due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the voting will be held on November 3 and November 7.
Polling will be held for these seats – one each in Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Telangana; two each in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Nagaland and Odisha; seven in Uttar Pradesh; eight in Gujarat and 28 in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 3. The counting of votes for all the by-elections will be held on November 10.
While voting for the Valmiki Nagar parliamentary constituency would be held on November 7, along with two Assembly seats in Manipur.
In a letter to all chief electoral officers, the EC said the period of submission of the list of star campaigners has been extended to 10 days from the date of notification for a particular phase of polling. India has eight recognised national political parties; BJP, Congress, TMC, CPI, CPIM, BSP, NCP and NPP.
In Bihar, the three-phased assembly elections will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7. Apart from that, various bypolls to vacant assembly seats across states will take place on November 3 and 7. Also, the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar will also go for bypoll on November 7.
As per the conditions set by EC, for holding political gatherings in closed spaces, a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons and wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizers will be mandatory.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revised its guidelines allowing political rallies to be conducted in these states “with immediate effect”.