New Delhi: Citing the decline in COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission Sunday restored the number of star campaigners a party can field for campaigning in the ongoing polls in five states.

Now, recognised national and state parties can field a maximum of 40 star campaigners. Other parties which are registered but not recognised can now have 20 star campaigners.

The Commission had in October 2020 reduced the number of star campaigners for recognised national and state parties from 40 to 30, as large gatherings were witnessed during campaigning in Bihar assembly elections and bypolls in several states amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For unrecognised registered political parties, the maximum number of star campaigners was brought down to 15 from 20.

… the numbers of both active and new COVID-19 cases are receding and the restrictions put in place both by the central government and state governments to check the spread of pandemic are being lifted gradually…The Election Commission after due deliberation has decided to restore the maximum limit on number of star campaigners…,” it said in a letter to political parties.

The letter said now the maximum limit on the number of star campaigners for recognised national and state political parties “shall be 40 and for other than recognised political party it shall be 20.”

It said for both phases of Manipur assembly polls, phase 5, 6 and 7 of Uttar Pradesh elections and assembly bypoll to Majuli seat in Assam, the list of additional star campaigners can be submitted to the Election Commission or the concerned Chief Electoral Officer by 5 PM on February 23.

The expenditure of star campaigner is borne by the party and not the candidate or candidates for which he or she campaigns.

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