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Covid-19: EC notice to political parties warns of ban on rallies


Team Udayavani, Apr 10, 2021, 10:11 AM IST

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New Delhi: Noting that political leaders, including star campaigners, were not observing Covid-19 protocols, the Election Commission on Friday issued a warning that poll rallies and campaigns would be banned considering the grave danger of infection at such gatherings.

The poll body’s notice came three days after voting ended in three states and an union territory where the polls have seen widespread disregard for the pandemic.

“Instances of election meetings/campaigns have come to the notice of the Commission, where norms of social distancing, wearing of masks etc. have been flouted in disregard to the Commission’s […] guidelines. Instances of star campaigners/political leaders/candidates not observing COVID protocols including non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or while campaigning have come to notice. By doing so, the political parties and candidates are exposing themselves as well as the public attending such election meetings to the grave danger of infection,” the Election Commission said in a notice.

“The Commission, in cases of breach, will not hesitate in banning public meetings, rallies etc. of the defaulting candidates/star campaigners/political leaders without any further reference,” it said.

India registered a record single-day spike of 1,31,968 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, pushing its infection tally to 1,30,60,542, while the death toll increased to 1,67,642 with 780 more fatalities in a day, highest since October 18, the Union Health Ministry data showed.

The central government has so far deciding against imposing a nationwide lockdown to contain the latest surge but has asked states to decide on imposing local restrictions.

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