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Observe COVID-19 tips or we are going to ban election rallies: EC warns political events | India Information

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Observe COVID-19 tips or we are going to ban election rallies: EC warns political events | India Information

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New Delhi: Amid rising coronavirus circumstances, the Election Fee has flagged situations of star campaigners and political leaders campaigning with out masks, and warned it is not going to hesitate to ban rallies if COVID tips issued by it final yr are breached.

In a letter to leaders of all recognised political events issued on Friday, the ballot panel mentioned, “It’s broadly recognized that within the current weeks, COVID cases are being reported in bigger numbers. Nonetheless, situations of election conferences/campaigns have come to the discover of the fee, the place norms of social distancing, sporting of masks have been flouted in disregard to the fee’s tips.”

The letter identified situations of star campaigners and political leaders or candidates not observing COVID-19 protocols, “together with non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or whereas campaigning”.

“By doing so, the political events and candidates are exposing themselves in addition to the general public attending such election conferences to the grave hazard of the an infection,” the letter mentioned.

In circumstances of breach, the Election Commission (EC) mentioned it can “not hesitate in banning public conferences, rallies of defaulting candidates, star campaigners or political leaders with none additional reference”.

On Thursday, the Delhi Excessive Court docket had sought responses from the fee and the central authorities on using masks throughout ballot campaigns.

Whereas the three-phase election in Assam and the single-phase polls in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are over, the fourth leg of the eight-phase West Bengal meeting election is being held on Saturday.

The ballot panel mentioned it has taken a “critical view of the laxity” in following norms, notably not sporting masks and never sustaining social distancing by political leaders on the dais or stage.

It requested events to comply with its tips with all seriousness. The 2-page letter mentioned it’s advisable that political leaders and candidates, who’ve the incumbent responsibility to manage the unfold of COVID-19, lead by instance.

They have to push all their supporters to start with of a rally, assembly or a marketing campaign to put on masks and use sanitisers, and put in place crowd-control measures as per social distancing norms, based on the letter.

“Political events, leaders, campaigners, candidates, current or aspiring policymakers are anticipated to be torch-bearers for the marketing campaign towards COVID and therefore, are anticipated to not solely set an instance by sustaining social distancing, sporting masks and following prescribed protocols but additionally by exhorting all of the native formations who attend programmes to comply with COVID protocols,” the letter learn.

In October final yr, the EC had taken a critical view of “utter violation” of social distancing norms throughout ballot campaigning and leaders addressing public conferences with out sporting masks in full disregard of its tips issued in August forward of the Bihar meeting elections. 

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