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Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attend a rally being addressed by the chief minister of India's Uttar Pradesh state Yogi Adityanath. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies and roadshows in the five poll-bound states till January 22.

However, the commission also granted relaxations for the political parties in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Manipur and Uttarakhand, where assembly elections will be held from February 10 till March 10.

“ECI extends ban on physical rallies and roadshows until 22 January 2022 ECI grants relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of a maximum of 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA,” ECI informed in a tweet.

It further directed political parties to adhere to the provisions of MCC and the broad guidelines of COVID.

“ECI directs political parties to adhere to the provisions of MCC and the broad guidelines of COVID ECI direct State/ District Administration to ensure compliance of all instructions related to MCC and COVID,” ECI tweeted.

Earlier on January 8, the commission, while announcing the schedule for upcoming assembly polls in five states, suspended the physical rallies till January 15 in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

Polling in Uttar Pradesh, with 403 constituencies, will take place across all seven phases.

Manipur with 60 constituencies will vote on February 27 and March 3.

Punjab with 117 constituencies, Uttarakhand with 70 constituencies and Goa with 40 constituencies will cast their vote in a single-phase on February 14.

The counting of votes for all assembly seats in the five states will be held on March 10.