The Election Commission of India (ECI) has banned all victory processions on or after the result day on May 2, newsagency ANI reported. The ECI’s decision comes amidst spiralling Covid-19 cases in the country. Results of Assembly elections held in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be announced on May 2.
Earlier on Monday, the Madras High Court warned that it will stop the counting scheduled on May 2 if the commission does not put in place a blueprint of a plan to ensure following of Covid protocol on the counting day and held it responsible for the Covid surge.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed, “Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when a citizen survives that he will be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees.”
The Chief Justice told the EC’s counsel that “your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19” and went to the extent of orally saying “your officers should be booked on murder charges probably.” The HC observed that EC failed to enforce Covid norms during election campaigning despite court orders. “Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held?”.