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Election Commission bans bike rallies in states 72 hours before voting day

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Assembly elections are due to begin in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala from March 27. The results for all the states will be announced on May 2

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Zara Khan

UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2021 03:30 PM IST

Bike rallies, a favourite campaigning tool of several political parties, have been banned by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for upto 72 hours before polling in an area. Announcing this in a letter to all the state election commission offices in poll-bound states on Monday, the Election Commission said that bike rallies could be misused.

“It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in some places bikes are used by some antisocial elements to intimidate the voters before the poll day and/or on poll day,” said the letter which has been signed by under secretary Sanjeev Kumar Prasad of ECI. “Kindly inform all concerned stakeholders including candidates/political parties and Commission’s observers for strict compliance,” instructed the note, which was issued Monday.

Also Read | BJP president JP Nadda to hold 3 rallies in Assam on Monday

Assembly elections are due to begin in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala from March 27. The results for all the states will be announced on May 2.

In the last few weeks, both the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have held bike rallies in Bengal while Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also kicked off the BJP’s campaign in the state with a bike rally on March 7. Bike rallies have often been followed up with complaints from the rival side about the number of participating vehicles surpassing the prescribed limit.

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