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Election Commission bans victory processions during and after counting of votes on May 2

The announcement comes a day after the Election Commission drew flak from the Madras High Court for alleged laxity in enforcing Covid rules during the election campaign rallies last month.

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday has ordered a ban on all victory processions during and after election results to the four states and a Union Territory on May 2 in the wake of a severe surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

As per the issued order, also, not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorized representative to receive the certificate of election from the concerned returning officer.

The announcement comes a day after the Election Commission drew flak from the Madras High Court for alleged laxity in enforcing Covid rules during the election campaign rallies last month. The high court had observed that the poll body was responsible for the second wave in the country and that its officials should probably be tried on murder charges for allowing political parties to hold massive rallies without following Covid-19 norms.

While hearing a petition filed by AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar, the first bench of chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy warned ECI saying that at no cost can counting result as a catalyst for a further surge, politics or no politics, whether the counting takes place in a staggered manner or is deferred.

The Madras High Court’s observation came a few days after the Calcutta High Court had criticised the EC for not doing enough to ensure that political parties were following appropriate Covid protocols amid the surging second wave.

The legislative assembly polls were held  in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry in eight phases, beginning March 27 and ending April 29. In view of the second wave of Covid-19, the poll body had laid down protocol for the contesting parties and leaders to follow to minimise the spread of infections during the campaigns and voting. However, the rules were violated by most political parties and their contestants, with huge rallies and marches against the Covid-19 protocols of social distancing. 

Read Also: Goa Court defers rape verdict against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal till May 12

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 cases have intensified in India for the sixth straight day on Tuesday with record-rise of over three lakh cases and 2,771 deaths, taking its overall caseload to over 1.76 crore and fatalities to 1,97,894.

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