New Delhi Jan 15: Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Election Commission on Saturday extended its ban on physical rallies and roadshows until January 22 in the five poll-bound states.

The poll panel, however, granted a relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum 300 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall, or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities, an official statement said.

The Commission also directed political parties to adhere to the provisions of the model code of conduct and broader guidelines on Covid-19.

The poll panel directed state and district administrations to ensure compliance of all instructions related to the poll code and to the pandemic control measures.

While announcing the poll schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Manipur, Goa and Punjab on January 8, the EC had taken an unprecedented step of banning public rallies, roadshows and similar physical campaigning events till January 15. The ban has now been extended by a further one week.

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New Delhi, Jan 26: The Congress on Wednesday appointed former Rajya Sabha member B K Hariprasad as the party's leader in the Karnataka Legislative Council.

It also appointed Prakash Rathod as the chief whip and K Govindraj as the Congress Deputy Leader of Legislative Council in the state.

An official statement said Congress president Sonia Gandhi appointed Hariprasad as the Leader of Legislative Council, along with making other appointments.