Kohima: With two Assembly Constituencies in Nagaland (Namely: Southern Angami-I (ST), and 60 Pungro-Kiphire) heading to the polls, the government has issued standard operating procedures for the regulation of political gatherings outside the Containment Zone areas.
As per the new guidelines, SOPs shall be in force in the two Assembly Constituencies for the campaigning period in the lead up to the polls. Now, political gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons shall be allowed.
In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. The usual COVID-19 preventive measures -- such as the wearing of masks, social distancing, provision for thermal screening, and usage of hand wash/sanitizer will be mandatory. In open spaces, political gatherings should be held with social distancing.
Public rallies can be conducted subject to COVID-19 guidelines. The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to identify grounds with "clearly marked entry/exit points."
In these grounds earmarked for political rallies, social distancing markers should be made by the district administration.
Furthermore, the Chief Medical Officer or District Health Officials should be involved in the process to ensure that all the COVID-19 guidelines are followed by all the attendees.
A group of 5 persons (including candidates but excluding security personnel) will be allowed to go for door-to-door campaigning head of the polls.
"Anybody violating the rules shall be liable to proceeded against as per the relevant provisions of the law, said the government's notice.
Bypolls to Southern Angami-1 and Pungro Kiphire assembly seats in Nagaland will be held on November 3, 2021.
It is pertinent to mention here that the bye-election to the Pungro Kiphire seat in the Kiphire district has been necessitated due to the death of Naga Peoples Front (NPF) MLA T Torechu.