Curbs Alone Won’t Do, Political Rallies Must be Restricted with Stringent Protocols!

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  • The Omicron variant is surging at an alarming rate will be an understatement of sorts. The entire nation is witness to how devastatingly the second Covid wave ravaged with unimaginable severity and monumental fatality during April-May 2021 mayhem. Those blood-curdling images are still fresh in our memories. As the country appeared to be on the path of economic recovery from the horrendous last two years, the new variant of the virus is potentially threatening to derail the process yet again. Even as medical and scientific experts are coming out with assurances about the virus being mild, there is no concrete evidence yet substantiating the same with very little available data at their disposal.

PC: IANS

  • Amidst all this, there is the looming spectacle of the assembly elections to some of the crucial states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Goa coming up in the next few months. As you may be watching over the fast-unraveling events in these states, the major political parties have already begun canvassing in right earnest throwing every time-tested safety and health protocol to the wind. Teeming humanity in lakhs is seen wherever political rallies are undertaken with scant regards for personal masking and/or social distancing. Remember, the second wave started making its debilitating initial presence felt during the electioneering to West Bengal assembly elections when political parties went all out to woo the electorate.
  • Something similar is already being witnessed in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, as well as Goa where political parties are pitching tents for high-octane electioneering which is all set to take off in a big way. Also, the Election Commission of India had a team visiting Uttar Pradesh recently to seek feedback from the political parties about the ensuing election. No surprises there as each of the five major parties wanted the election to be held despite the threat of Omicron lurking around. Of course, the onus squarely rests on the Election Commission to set few things in order before announcing the dates of elections, and the Model Code of Conduct kicks in. Let us explore what are those measures that should be in place.

PC: Sudeshna Singh

  • Stringently following Covid appropriate behavior including the restrictions to be imposed on the number of people attending political rallies, alongside compulsory wearing of masks, and penalise wherever there is a violation is non-negotiable. The ECI has the mandate to act independently and should exercise those Constitutionally guaranteed authorities to impress upon the political parties to fall in line. Mind you, people already burdened with successive lockdowns will be seething in anger when certain curbs are already being imposed to thwart the virus spread affecting their livelihood all over again.
  • But conveniently allowing political parties to go about indulging in electioneering will be nothing short of hypocrisy and travesty of natural justice. Imposing night curfews and having election rallies crowded with humanity during the days simply defeats the purpose and will not cut ice with the discerning public either. As such, it is incumbent on the part of the ECI to undertake due diligence before the process of election commences. Hopefully, necessary instructions and most importantly, a diligent implementation mechanism will be ensured during the ensuing elections. Over to the ECI.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.