The Election Commission on Thursday lifted the ban on victory processions during the counting of votes and declaration of results in the five States where elections were held recently.

In a statement, the poll panel said keeping in mind the current status of Covid-19 in these States, it has "decided to relax the guidelines on victory processions during and after the counting and has withdrawn the blanket ban on victory procession." While announcing the poll schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab, the Election Commission had issued guidelines to regulate various aspects of elections, including victory processions amid the pandemic.

"During the period of elections as the Covid situation improved, the Commission gradually relaxed the norms concerning electioneering in consultation with the Union Health Ministry and State governments," the statement said.

The relaxation will be subject to existing instructions of State disaster management authorities and preventive measures imposed by concerned district authorities, it added.