Shimla: To ensure Covid spread in check, the state election commission has put covid restrictions on the political parties and candidates.

Chief Electoral Officer C. Paulrasu confirmed issuing direction to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures during the bye-elections, and directed political parties to follow the laid down procedure during the campaign.

The Election Commission has restricted door to door campaigns with five persons including candidates and their representatives.

During an indoor meeting, the commission has restricted the gathering of 30 percent of the allowed capacity or 200 persons, whichever is less. The commission has directed to maintain a register to count the number of people attending the meeting.

Meanwhile, in an outdoor meeting, the commission has permitted the gathering of 50 percent of capacity or 1000 people in the case of star campaigners and 500 people in all other cases.

In the street corners meetings, the commission has put restrictions of a maximum of 50 persons that are too subjected to availability of space and compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.

Commission has put restrictions on roadshows and motor, bike, cycle rallies.

For use of vehicles during the campaign, the commission has limited the use of 20 vehicles for campaigning with 50 percent occupancy per vehicle. And on the polling day, a maximum of two vehicles with three persons each are permitted.

However, vehicles engaged in security arrangements will be allowed as per the ECI guidelines in force.

Commission has ordered concerned District Election Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners to ensure the availability of thermal scanners, sanitisers, soap and water arrangements, gloves, face-shields, masks etc. at the polling stations.

By-elections for Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly Constituencies are to be held on 30 October and counting of the votes will be done 2nd November.