New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): In view of a surge in COVID-19 infections, the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories and heads of political parties to prohibit the victory celebrations where the counting of votes is underway and demanded strict compliance of directions.
In a letter to Chief Secretaries, the poll body asked to urgently prohibit the public celebrations being carried out in the context of today's counting of votes.
"The Commission has viewed it very seriously and again directed that all necessary actions must be taken to ensure the strict compliance of its directions wherein all such activities have already been prohibited in view of the pandemic," the EC's letter said.
Further, the Commission directed Chief Secretaries to immediately suspend the responsible SHOs (in case they failed to prohibit the public celebrations)and initiate disciplinary actions against them.
In the letter to heads of political parties, the EC expressed its displeasure on the failure of certain parties to abide by the extant instructions. "In view of aforesaid, it is utmost necessary that you direct/guide your party representatives/followers with strictness to stop them to celebrate and show restraint in these challenging times and ask them to behave strictly in accordance with the ECI's instructions and extant instructions on COVID issued by NDMA/SDMA."
The Commission said it has already directed CS/DGP concerned to take penal actions including FIR against the violators in all such cases under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.
The counting of votes for the Assembly elections began this morning in the four states- Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
While Assam and West Bengal saw multiple phases of polling, electors in Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu cast their votes in a single phase on April 6. (ANI)