No victory rallies during or after counting of votes on May 2: EC

Poll body’s decision comes a day after the Madras HC censured it over allowing massive rallies during second wave of COVID, ordered blueprint of protocols to be followed on counting day  

The Election Commission on Tuesday (April 27) banned all victory processions during and after counting of votes on May 2, in states where assembly polls were held.

The decision has been taken to check the spread of coronavirus, the sources said.

The counting of votes will be held in Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry on May 2. Sources in the poll panel said an exhaustive order is being issued in this regard.

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The EC’s decision comes a day after the Madras High Court asked it to prepare a plan on COVID protocols to be followed during the counting of votes.

Related news: Delhi 5-star hotel converted to COVID care centre for HC judges, officials

Holding the EC responsible for the second wave of COVID and stating that its officials should probably be booked under murder for allowing crowded campaigns ahead of polls in four states and a union territory, the high court had threatened to stop counting if the EC doesn’t come up with a protocol “blueprint”.

“Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held,” a bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy snapped.

“Public health is paramount. Distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded. It is only when a citizen survives that he’ll be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees,” the court said.

Poll-bound states, especially Bengal witnessed massive crowds at rallies even as the country was recording more than 3 lakh COVID cases daily.

The EC put a ban on roadshows and rallies while capping number of people at public meetings to 500 only on April 22, after five rounds of polls were over in West Bengal.

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