‘Strict Action’: EC on Pol Parties Violating COVID Norms in Bihar

EC guidelines have made wearing of masks and maintenance of two-feet distance compulsory for physical gatherings. 

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Politics
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Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) chief Pappu Yadav addresses crowd during  election campaign ahead of Bihar Assembly elections, in Patna on 20 October 2020.
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With poll-time rallies rallies in Bihar throwing social distancing norms to the winds, the Election Commission on Wednesday, 21 October, warned of strong action against political parties if pre-existing instructions and guidelines on crown-management and other COVID-19-related health precautions are not followed during the campaign period, reports The Indian Express.

“The Commission has taken a serious view of the laxity on the part of political parties and candidates, on the ground, in terms of maintaining crowd discipline, and hereby reiterates and further advises them to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering.”
Election Commission.

In order to ensure compliance, the commission also instructed the Bihar Chief Electoral Officer and other district election officials to invoke “appropriate and relevant penal provisions” under the Disaster Management Act and the IPC against those candidates violating health norms.

Issued on 21 August, guidelines issued by the Election commission have set the following rules:

  • Wearing of masks compulsory.
  • Social-Distancing of at least two metres at physical gatherings.
  • Maximum number of rally-goers to not exceed SDMA-prescribed limit.

With campaigning for upcoming state elections in full-swing, there have been reports of large crowds and of supporters without masks. Rallies being organised by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi and RJD leader Tejashwi Pratap Yadav have particularly witnessed large crowds.

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