Indore, Sep 20 (PTI) Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Sunday suggested imposition of hefty fines for COVID-19 protocol violations during campaigning for upcoming polls.
The statement comes as campaigning for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, which will require bypolls, have begun, though no date has been fixed for them as yet.
There are also periodic reports of violation of social distancing norms and other aspects of the outbreak protocol as parties get into campaign mode.
Speaking to PTI, Rawat said, 'The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued detailed guidelines long back to conduct polls during the coronavirus outbreak. The administration must ensure strict adherence to these guidelines.' 'If these guidelines are not being followed in an election programme, then the administration should impose hefty fines and also take legal steps against violators. This will bring discipline among organisers of such events,' he added.
He said polls were held in South Korea, Poland, and in Sri Lanka in our neighbourhood recently amid the coronavirus outbreak, and expressed confidence that the ECI was fully capable of doing so in India as well.
Guidelines issued by ECI in August include wearing of masks, use of sanitisers, deployment of thermal scanners etc during poll campaign and voting. PTI HWP ADU BNM BNM