Kolkata : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president J P Nadda on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) banning celebrations and processions of electoral victories.
“I welcome the decision of the ECI banning celebrations and processions of electoral victories. I have directed all state units of BJP to strictly adhere to this decision,” Mr Nadda said..
“All karykartas of BJP are using their energies to help the ones in need in this hour of crisis,” he added.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) today banned all victory processions on or after the day of the counting of votes, on May 2, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Results of four states and a UT—West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry will be declared on May 2.
The ECI has also dictated that no more than two people shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate when they come to collect their election certificate.
“In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, the commission has decided to make more stringent provisions to be followed during the process of counting,” said in a notification.
The development comes after the Madras High Court told the ECI is it should be ‘booked on murder charges’ for its handling of the pre-election political rallies and campaigns.
The court pointed the finger at ECI for not doing anything to stop the political rallies that were being held in different states ahead of the elections.
The High Court threatened the ECI to come up with a proper plan to ensure COVID-19 guidelines are followed on counting day, May 2, or it will pull the plug on the entire exercise. It has asked the ECI to submit the blueprint of its plan by April 30.
“The situation now is of survival and protection. Everything else comes second,” said the court.
The political rallies saw people come out in massive numbers to hear their favourite politicians. Not only was there no social distancing, but many were also seen amid the crowds without a mask.
The ECI only stepped in on April 22 to ban roadshows, vehicle rallies, and public meetings.
On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that he would be cancelling four of his rallies that were scheduled for April 23.
In West Bengal voters in 35 remaining constituencies will exercise their franchise on April 29.