Stop rallies, delay polls: Allahabad HC’s suggestion to EC amid Omicron

Reminding the government how the gram panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Assembly polls had contributed to a rise in infections, leading to deaths during the second wave of COVID, the court said a repeat of the event could be achieved if the Centre bans election campaigning  

Representative photo: | PTI File

In view of the rising cases of the Omicron variant, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday urged the Election Commission to postpone the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections by a couple of months. The court also requested the Centre to stop political rallies from being held in the state.

“If rallies are not stopped, results will be worse than the second wave,” Justice Shekhar Yadav said while allowing the bail application of a petitioner in a case.

Also read: India has given nearly 140 crore COVID vaccines via 1.5 crore sessions

Justice Yadav said the number of patients infected with Omicron are increasing and there is a possibility of a third wave. The court said countries like China, Netherlands, and Germany have imposed complete or partial lockdowns due to the rising cases.

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During the second wave, the country saw lakhs of people getting infected by coronavirus and many people had died contracting the disease, the high court said.

The gram panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Assembly polls also contributed to a rise in infections that led to many deaths due to COVID-19, it stated.

“As the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are nearing, all the political parties are mobilising lakhs of people by holding rallies and meetings where it is not possible to follow COVID protocols, including social distancing, in any way,” the HC observed.

“If this is not stopped in time, the consequences could be more dire than the second wave of the pandemic,” it warned.

Also read: With cases surging, Chinese city of Xi’an goes for total lockdown

Urging the Election Commission to immediately stop poll rallies and gathering while asking parties to campaign through media channels and newspapers instead, the court said, if possible, the elections that are expected to be held in February next year could be postponed by a couple of months because only if there is life, then the election rallies and meetings can take place and the right to life has also been given under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

(With inputs from agencies)

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