Synopsis

In a late night advisory to all political parties, the poll panel has advised political leaders and candidates on their ‘incumbent duty to control, spread of Covid-19, demonstrate by their personal example and nudge all supporters in the beginning of the rally, meetings, campaigns itself to wear masks, use sanitizers and put in place crowd control measures as per social distancing norms’.AgenciesThe letter pointed out instances of star campaigners and political leaders or candidates not observing COVID-19 protocols, “including non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or while campaigning”.Taking a ‘serious view of the laxity’ by political parties and leaders in maintaining Covid-19 norms in the ongoing elections, the Election Commission of India has urged their observance ‘in all seriousness’ and warned that it would ban campaigns and rallies of defaulting candidates in case of violations of its guidelines.

In a late night advisory to all political parties, the poll panel has advised political leaders and candidates on their ‘incumbent duty to control, spread of Covid-19, demonstrate by their personal example and nudge all supporters in the beginning of the rally, meetings, campaigns itself to wear masks, use sanitizers and put in place crowd control measures as per social distancing norms’.

It has further ‘clarified’ that ‘in cases of breach’, the EC ‘will not hesitate in banning public meetings, rallies etc of the defaulting candidates/star campaigners/political leaders as per social distancing norms’.

EC has noted that even amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, there have been instances of election meetings/campaigns ‘where norms of social distancing, wearing of masks etc have been flouted’ in disregard to the Commission’s guidelines.

“Instance of star campaigners/political leaders/candidates not observing Covid-19 protocol including non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or while campaigning have come to notice. By doing so, political parties and candidates are exposing themselves as well as the public attending such election meetings to the grave danger of infection”, the poll panel has said.

Urging political parties, leaders and candidates to be the ‘torchbearers for the campaign against Covid-19’, the EC has sought their ‘fullest cooperation’ and to help ‘set an example by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and following the prescribed protocols.

( Originally published on Apr 09, 2021 )

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1 Comment on this StoryMohan Raman4 days ago

EC only warns the pitfalls in unmasked star campaigners. why don’t they bar the candidates and their leaders standing near them, penalise them or even cancel their candidature? Harsh measures are needed and EC can suspected to enforce them selectively, we know
how.

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