Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav on Monday, 17 January, took to Twitter to quote-tweet a video of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) holding a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha and pointed out that the Election Commission's (EC) duty was to ensure that all parties follow the Model Code and COVID protocols uniformly.
This comes days after the Election Commission issued a notice to the Samajwadi Party for allegedly violating COVID protocols in Lucknow on Friday, 14 January, and asked it to file a reply within 24 hours.
Sharing the video, Yadav on Monday wrote: "There is a complete ban on the office and programmes of the Samajwadi Party... but the chief minister "with a few days left" and the Amroha BJP candidate are publicly mocking the Model Code and COVID guidelines."
The video shared by Yadav showed a big crowd of unmasked people carrying out a rally, without maintaining social distancing and in clear violation of EC guidelines banning public rallies, roadshows, and corner meetings till 22 January in the five poll-bound states, in view of the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a report by NDTV, neither the BJP nor Mahendra Kharagvanshi, the MLA concerned, have responded yet.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been lodged against BJP's Dadri MLA Tejpal Singh Nagar for allegedly flouting COVID-19 norms during a poll campaign, reported news agency PTI.
Notice to Samajwadi Party: What Had Happened?
Samajwadi Party workers, leaders, and others had assembled in large numbers outside the SP office on Friday during the induction ceremony of former UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, and others who quit the BJP earlier this month.
Consequently, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police lodged an FIR against 2,000-2,500 SP activists for gathering at the party's office in violation of the COVID-19 norms.
The FIR was registered at the Gautam Palli police station in Lucknow, as per the directives of the Election Commission on COVID-19-related norms, news agency PTI reported, citing officials.
According to the report, the case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 188 (violation of instructions), 269 (spreading infection of disease), 270 (endangering the life of others by spreading infection), and 341 (wrongful restraint of a person), and relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Following these developments, SP chief Yadav commented, "I appeal to the leaders and party workers to abide by EC guidelines and COVID protocols whenever they come to the office."
(With inputs from NDTV and PTI.)
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