Concerned over the colossal surge in cases, the ECI, on Tuesday announced that no political parties should hold victory rallies on 2 May after the counting of votes in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry.
“In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the Election Commission of India has decided to make more stringent provision to be followed during the process of counting, in addition to existing broad guidelines dated 21.8.2020,” Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said in a statement issued to media and political parties.
The Commission has also directed that not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative to receive the Certificate of Election from the Returning Officer concerned.
The ECI has also made RT-PCR negative test report mandatory for the polling staff and agents of all party candidates. Those who are vaccinated need not produce RT-PCR test report. The counting of votes will start at 8 am on May 2 at 75 counting stations. A minimum of 14 tables will be placed for each constituency.