10 Apr 2021: Follow coronavirus norms or will ban rallies: EC tells parties
The Election Commission (EC) said on Friday that it may ban political rallies if coronavirus norms are not followed.
Ironically, the polling body pulled up political parties days after voting ended in three states and one Union Territory. It was seen that coronavirus-related precautions were shredded to pieces during campaigning.
EC said it will ban public meetings altogether if parties don't mend their ways.
Letter: EC noted that coronavirus-linked rules have been flouted
In a letter to all recognized state and national political parties, EC drew attention to the worrying coronavirus numbers being reported across India.
"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," the letter read.
The body said it has taken "a serious view of the laxity."
Details: Body said politicians were risking themselves and the public
The apex polling body underlined that by flouting the precautions, the political parties were exposing themselves as well as the public to the fatal infection.
"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," the letter read.
It also said that politicians must lead by example.
Fact: Nudge all supporters to wear masks, use sanitizers: EC
"It's advisable that political leaders/candidates who have the incumbent duty to control the spread of COVID-19, demonstrate by their personal example and nudge all supporters in the beginning rally, meetings and campaign itself to wear masks, use sanitizers, and put in place crowd control measures as per social distancing norms," EC said.
Figures: India recorded highest single-day spike on Friday
The letter comes at a time when India is adding an unprecedented number of cases to its coronavirus tally on a daily basis.
Just yesterday, 1,45,384 fresh cases were recorded, pushing the countrywide tally to 1.32 crore.
Government data shows that 794 people died during the 24-hour period and the total death count stands at 1,68,436.
Over 34 lakh people were vaccinated yesterday.
Campaign: Yesterday, Home Minister Amit Shah was spotted without a mask
While the government has opined that the lax behavior of citizens is responsible for the resurgent coronavirus wave, its ministers haven't been following precautions either.
Just yesterday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was seen campaigning door-to-door in Bhawanipur, Kolkata, with several followers.
Pictures that emerged on social media showed that Shah removed his mask frequently to greet voters.
Fact: Here are the spot visuals