Akhilesh Yadav – whose Samajwadi Party was served an Election Commission notice last week for violating Covid safety protocols – today tweeted a video of a BJP MLA holding a roadshow – also in violation of the rules – in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha ahead of next month’s election.
A frustrated Mr Yadav demanded the top poll body act uniformly against all parties that disobey Covid protocols as announced both by the government and itself.
“There is a complete ban on the office and programmes of the Samajwadi Party… but the Chief Minister ‘who has a few days left’ – a swipe at Yogi Adityanath losing the election – and the BJP candidate from Amroha are openly making fun of the Model Code and Covid guidelines,” he said.
सपा के कार्यक्रम-कार्यालय पर पूरी पाबंदी और गाड़ियों के चालान भी लेकिन ‘कुछ दिनों के बाकी बचे मुख्यमंत्री’ व अमरोहा के भाजपा प्रत्याशी आचार संहिता और कोरोना गाइडलाइन्स का सरेआम मज़ाक़ उड़ा रहे हैं।
‘निर्वाचन-न्याय’ को सुनिश्चित करना चुनाव आयोग का परम-धर्म है!
कोई है ?????????
The video shared by Mr Yadav shows hundreds of people – several without face masks – campaigning with utter disregard for social distancing, and an order from the Election Commission that prohibits rallies, roadshows, nukkad sabhas (roadside meetings) or other public events till January 22.
अमरोहा : BJP विधायक महेंद्र खड़गवंशी ने निकाला चुनावी जुलूस,खुलेआम किया आचार सहिंता और कोरोना गाइडलाइंस का उल्लंघन
— Saurabh shukla (@Saurabh_Unmute) January 17, 2022
Both the BJP and the MLA in question, Mahendra Kharagvanshi, have yet to respond.
On Saturday the Election Commission demanded an explanation from the Samajwadi Party after a large number of people gathered for what was supposed to be the ‘virtual’, or ‘online’, induction of seven ex-BJP MLAs, including ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini.
A case was registered against 2,500 people – allegedly Samajwadi Party workers.
Mr Yadav responded by urging party workers and leaders to follow all Covid safety protocols.
Elections in five states – UP, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Punjab – have been scheduled over the next two months despite a frightening surge in Covid cases and concerns that poll rallies and roadshows, which are attended by thousands, could become super-spreaders.
The Election Commission turned down requests, including one by the Allahabad High Court, to postpone polls, citing the Constitution and saying measures – like the ban on rallies and roadshows, which seems not to be properly enforced – would serve to stop the virus from spreading.
The poll body has since also acted against the Congress – Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was yesterday named in a police case while campaigning in UP’s Noida.
Similar measures were announced as five states – Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, and Kerala – voted in March-April last year, but the rules were violated then too, and cases surged.