New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued a notification banning all kinds of victory processions following the Assembly voting result announcement in five states on May 2. The order came amid the worsening COVID situation besides the Madras High Court's reprimanding the Election Commission for failure in controlling crowd-pulling political campaigns.
The order categorically bans all victory processions on May 2 and the following days. Legislative Assembly elections were held in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Pondicherry in eight phases.
"Not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative receives the certificate of election from the Returning Officer concerned," an Election Commission notification said today.
Coming amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poll panel had laid down protocol for the contesting parties and leaders to follow to minimise the spread of infections. The rules were, however, mostly observed only in the breach by most political outfits and their contestants, with huge rallies and marches sending social distancing for a toss.
The development comes after the Madras HC on Monday slammed the Election Commission of India for allowing rallies and held the ECI singularly responsible for the second wave in India. The Madras HC has further said that the EVI should probably be booked for murder. The High Court had also sought a plan to enforce Covid rules on May 2, the day of the results by Friday. Without it, the counting could also be stopped, said the High Court.
The second wave has, meanwhile, intensified in its ferocity, making way for suggestions that the elections have turned into Covid catalysts. For the sixth straight day today, India logged over three lakh cases and 2,771 deaths, taking its overall caseload to over 1.76 crore and fatalities to 1,97,894.