Bihar Election 2020: Election Commission says parties flouting Covid norms with impunity, warns of action

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October 22, 2020 2:46 PM

The Commission reiterated that during elections political parties are the most important stakeholders in the electoral process and duty bound to observe the norms determined by the Commission for electioneering.

The Commission said that it has taken a serious view of the laxity on the part of political parties and candidates on the ground in terms of maintaining crowd discipline.

 

Bihar Election 2020: The Election Commission on Wednesday wrote to national and state political parties, saying their candidates have been flouting social distancing norms with impunity. It said that instances of such public meetings have come to notice of the Commission where a large number of crowds had assembled in utter violation of social distancing. The Commission further said that political leaders and campaigners are addressing gatherings without wearing masks, in complete disregard of the guidelines or instructions issued by it.

“By doing so, the political parties and candidates are not only flouting the guidelines of the Commission with impunity, but exposing themselves as well as the public attending the rallies/meetings to the danger of infection during the pandemic,” the ECI said in a letter marked to general secretaries of national and state parties.

The Commission reiterated that during elections political parties are the most important stakeholders in the electoral process and duty bound to observe the norms determined by the Commission for electioneering.

The Commission said that it has taken a serious view of the laxity on the part of political parties and candidates on the ground in terms of maintaining crowd discipline. It advised the political parties and candidates to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering. The poll body also made it clear that CEOs and the district officials would be expected to invoke relevant penal provisions against the candidates concerned as well as the organizers responsible for such violations.

The Commission has sought cooperation from parties to enable the district election machinery to ensure that all the preventive measures are adhered to by all the participants including organisers.

On October 9, the Commission had sought the cooperation of all political parties to follow instructions related to Covid at all stages, especially wherever public interface in physical form is involved. It had said that observance of preventive measures like wearing a mask, use of sanitizer, social distancing were a duty cast upon all the stakeholders in the larger interest of public health.

Earlier in August, the EC had stated that non-compliance of pandemic related instructions will attract actions as per provisions of Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 besides invocation of the Section 188 of IPC.

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