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Election Commission of India bans victory rallies on May 2

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) today prohibited victory processions on May 2 after declaration of election results in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry.

The order signed by Sumit Mukherjee, senior public relation secretary, stated that no victory procession after the counting on May 2nd wil be allowed.

It also added that maximum two persons can accompany the winning candidate or their authorized representative to receive the certificate of election from the concerned Returning Officer.

These new stringent provisions in addition to the existing ECI guidelines released on August 21, 2020, are to be followed during or after the process of counting in view of surge in COVID-19 cases, the communique further stated.

Meanwhile, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma – who was criticized for holding massive rallies amid the crisis – has hailed the ECI’s move.

The decision by @ECISVEEP to ban celebrations & processions after results are announced on May 2 is welcome. In view of the prevailing grim circumstances, I urge all party karyakartas & well-wishers to follow utmost restraints and stay vigilant,” Biswa Sarma wrote in a tweet.

Yesterday, the Madras High Court held the ECI solely responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry since no political parties were adhering to the COVID protocols while taking out massive rallies.

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In Assam also, the government data shown on daily new COVID cases made it evident that the COVID-19 cases spiraled, from 61 between March 30 and April 5, to 308 cases after April 6, which was the last day of Assam assembly polls.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are among the worst COVID-19 affected states of the country with a large number of active cases.

Due to surge in COVID-19 cases, West Bengal had concluded it’s election yesterday at the 7th phase instead of going for the 8th.

Chief secretary of Assam Jishnu Barua had asserted last week that the COVID-19 situation in Assam is not at an “alarming” state as of yet.

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