STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

EC tries to get its act together

Meanwhile, the wife of a Trinamool candidate who died of Covid has filed a case seeking action against top EC officials for culpable homicide.

Published: 29th April 2021 07:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2021 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

Election Commission of India

Election Commission of India (Photo |Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Even as the stage is set for counting on May 2, the pre-election tempo that had reached a crescendo in March and the first week of April in Tamil Nadu has now given way to anger and anxiety as Covid cases have been rising in the state during the past fortnight. This was reflected in the Madras High Court’s attack on the Election Commission, when it asked whether the poll panel “was on another planet when rallies were held”. The Bench even said, “You (The EC) should be put up on murder charges probably for being the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today.” It even threatened to stop counting if a blueprint on the way forward was not given. These observations came four days after the Calcutta High Court censured the EC for the same reason.

After being named and shamed by the judiciary, the red-faced EC tried to save face by banning all victory rallies after election results for four states and a Union Territory are announced. Whether the poll panel can take action after the verdict is out is a moot point. But at least the other new guidelines issued by the EC on Wednesday, including making a negative Covid report or full vaccination compulsory for candidates to enter counting halls, banning public gatherings outside the counting venues, and PPE kits for agents and candidates, are enforceable and welcome.

Meanwhile, the wife of a Trinamool candidate who died of Covid has filed a case seeking action against top EC officials for culpable homicide. But it must be kept in mind that while the poll panel was to oversee the conduct of rallies by candidates, including ensuring that they followed the model code of conduct, the political parties have to share the blame for the current situation. The fact is none followed Covid protocols during the entire election process, which included mass rallies and maskless rallyists. The result is there for all to see. Whether enforceable by the EC or not, political parties should follow the new guidelines on counting day and make sure that the Covid crisis does not worsen.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp