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Election Commission issues warning to Samajwadi Party over violating Covid norms

The election commission has banned political rallies, nukkad meetings, roadshows till January 15 to check a surge in Covid cases and on Saturday extended the ban till January 22.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 18, 2022 11:30:09 pm
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav. (PTI/File)

The Election Commission on Tuesday issued its order on Samajwadi Party’s (SP) alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct and Covid-19 protocols during a gathering outside the SP office in Lucknow last week and issued a warning to the party to be more careful while letting them off citing it as their first reported violation.

“…considering that it is the first reported violation during the current round of elections on the part of Samajwadi Party, the Commission, advises the party to be careful in future, to follow all the extant guidelines diligently and to instruct all your party members to adhere to the extant COVID guidelines during the period of elections without fail,” the EC said in its order on Tuesday.

Last Saturday the poll panel wrote to SP seeking their response on the alleged violation within 24 hours.

“Whereas, in its reply dated 16th January 2022, the Party has denied the occurrence of…said violation, however, categorically submitted at para 13 thereof that: More than 4000 applications have been received in the Samajwadi Party Office for grant of ticket to contest the Assembly Elections. The applications are being scrutinized and the candidates are being interviewed. The candidates are allowed entry in the Samajwadi Party Office, only if they follow the Covid protocol and Guidelines. The said procedure is a part of the Election process and has not been prohibited by the Election Commission of India under its Guidelines dated 8 January 2022,” it noted.

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“The Commission has noted that necessary cases have already been lodged in view of the said violations, which will take its own logical conclusion…” It added.

The election commission has banned political rallies, nukkad meetings, roadshows till January 15 to check a surge in Covid cases and on Saturday extended the ban till January 22.

Last Friday around 2,500 unidentified Samajwadi Party (SP) workers were booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct and Covid-19 protocol when they reached the party office located at Vikramaditya Marg here in large numbers. They are also accused of blocking the road by parking their vehicles in a haphazard manner.

The Election Commission while taking cognizance of a report submitted by the Lucknow district magistrate regarding the violation of model of conduct in reference to the Covid-19 pandemic, directed the suspension of the SHO of Gautampalli police station, Dinesh Singh Bisht, for dereliction of duty.

The poll panel had also directed that an explanation be sought by 11 am on Saturday from the ACP of the area concerned, Akhilesh Singh, and returning officer of the Lucknow Central Assembly constituency, ACM Govind Maurya, in this regard.

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