Uphill task for EC to enforce Covid-19 guidelines despite requisite powers, feel former CECs

Uphill task for EC to enforce Covid-19 guidelines despite requisite powers, feel former CECs

New Delhi: The Election Commission has the requisite powers to take strict measures like banning rallies and countermanding polls for violation of COVID-19 guidelines during campaigning, but it will be an uphill task to ensure compliance, according to former chief election commissioners.
Campaigning is on for Bihar assembly polls as well as for by-elections in other states, and the EC has already cautioned parties that penal provisions can be invoked against them by district authorities for violations.
While most of the former CECs said implementing health guidelines during campaigning is not easy given the number of candidates, parties and voters involved, two of them said the EC could take “demonstrative action” such as postponing polls in a few constituencies and banning rallies to show that it means business.
The Election Commission has taken a serious view of “utter violation” of social distancing norms during poll campaigning and leaders addressing public meetings without wearing masks in complete disregard of its guidelines.
In an advisory issued to presidents and general secretaries of all recognised national and state parties on Wednesday, the poll panel said chief electoral officers and the district machinery would be expected to invoke appropriate and relevant penal provisions against candidates concerned as well as organisers responsible for such violations.
Responding to a question on how the EC would enforce the guidelines, a senior functionary said the Commission has all the means to ensure implementation.
—PTI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.