Election Commission likely to issue campaign guidelines for Bihar polls

The Election Commission is likely to issue a set of guidelines on campaigning for the Bihar assembly election, which would be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed guidelines, to be issued in the coming days, would be framed based on the feedback received from political parties, sources in the poll panel said on Monday.

The authorities have asked people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, among others, to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected over 1 lakh people in Bihar.

The EC had last month asked the parties to send their “views and suggestions…so that necessary guidelines may be firmed up for the election campaign by candidates or political parties for the conduct of election during the pandemic period”.

Parties such as the RJD and the CPI(M) are learnt to be opposed to the concept of “virtual campaigning” in the assembly polls.

Earlier too, in a memorandum submitted to the EC in July, nine opposition parties had questioned the digital campaign launched by the BJP in Bihar, saying it disturbs the level-playing field.

They demanded normal electioneering.

Asked whether the guidelines would propose a mix of digital and physical campaigning, a senior official said all factors would be kept in mind while formulating the document.

The term of the 243-member Bihar assembly ends on November 29.

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