Covid Task Force Chief On Political Rallies

Covid Task Force Chief On Political Rallies

The Election Commission said, “Our responsibility begins after poll dates are announced”.

New Delhi:

The Centre has said controlling the rampant Covid safety guidelines at political rallies is the responsibility of the Election Commission while advising states to take immediate measures to control a rapid Covid surge in cities.

Earlier today, the Centre wrote to eight states — including Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Telangana¬† — advising them to “”Take steps now to avoid increased mortality”.

But asked about the violation of Covid safety at election rallies, the government’s Covid Task Force chief VK Paul said, “We have explained the framework of responsibilities from all of us. That applies to all of us. About elections — this is the domain of the Election Commission”.

The Election Commission has already said that it is not in charge of the situation till the elections are announced and the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect. This places the onus of Covid control at political rallies on the governments of five states where elections are due next year — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

“Our responsibility begins after poll dates are announced and the model code of conduct kicks in. Till then, the responsibility lies with the state government and they would act as per recommendations of the state disaster management authority,” Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said.

The Commission had also made it clear that there will be no deferment of polls as sought by the Allahabad High Court.

All political parties in Uttar Pradesh had called for the elections to be held on time with observance of Covid protocol during a meeting held earlier today, the Commission had said.

Assam Press