Ahead of the counting of the votes for the Assembly Elections in five states, the Election Commission of India ECI has banned all victory processions on or after the day of counting of votes slated on May 2.
Legislative Assembly polls were scheduled in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry in eight phases, beginning March 27 and ending April 29.
The decision comes after the country has witnessed a massive surge in Covid-19 cases.
In a notification issued by the EC, it has stated that no more than two people shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate when they come to collect their election certificate from the Returning officer.
“In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the commission has decided to make more stringent provisions to be followed during the process of counting,” said the notification.
The development comes a day after the Madras High Court came down heavily on the ECI and said that the commission is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. “Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably…Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?” the court said while pointing at ECI for not doing anything to stop the political rallies that were being held in different states ahead of the elections.
The court further maintained that the process of counting will be halted if a proper plan to enforce Covid rules on May 2 is not implemented by the commission. It sought a blueprint from the EC on how proper maintenance of Covid protocol will be maintained.
Ahead of the elections, massive rallies were held in the five states flouting Covid-19 protocols, Politicians, contestants alike gave Covid norms a toss while they campaigned across the states. The political parties have been lambasted for exercising such ignorance as the country reels under the second wave of the deadly virus.