‘Covid-19 guidelines being flouted with impunity’: Election Commission warns parties busy in campaigning

Updated on Oct 21, 2020 07:01 PM IST

The Election Commission asked the political parties and candidates “to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering”. It has asked local authorities to invoke penal provisions against violators.

A view of the Election Commission of India building in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
A view of the Election Commission of India building in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday took strong objection to political parties and candidates flouting its Covid-19 guidelines.

The commission said that it got to know about public meetings where huge crowd assembled in utter violation of social distancing norms. And the leaders addressing these meetings, the commission said, did that without wearing masks.

“By doing so, the political parties and candidates are not only flouting the guidelines of the commission with impunity, but exposing themselves as well as the public attending the rallies/meetings to the danger of infection during the pandemic,” the Election Commission said.

It also said that during elections, political parties are the most important stakeholders in the electoral process. They duty bound to observe the norms determined by the commission for electioneering, the ECI further said.

The commission once again asked the political parties and candidates “to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering”.

“CEOs and the District Machinery would be expected by the Commission to invoke appropriate and relevant penal provisions against the candidates concerned as well as the organizers responsible for such violations,” the ECI said.

The top electoral body said that instructions to ensure compliance have been issued to Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) and state governments where elections are scheduled to be held.

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