Summary

Experts believe that leaders have the right to campaign in electoral states, but they must also follow corona guidelines. But how are these rules followed and what is the legal accountability of leaders and parties? Can leaders and parties be held accountable for supporters violating the rules? This matter is scrutinized in this report.

Crowds gathered at the SP office on the occasion of Swami Prasad Maurya joining as SP.
– Photo: ANI

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Due to the Corona border, the Election Commission has extended the ban on election rallies, road shows and public meetings in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, till January 22. New orders were issued on Saturday to this effect. So far this limit is until January 15th i.e. today is Saturday. The Election Commission will review the situation again on January 22. Until then, digital campaigning is the choice for political parties.

The Election Commission has warned political parties to strictly adhere to the Corona guidelines, while state and district election officials have been given strict instructions to focus on political parties, leaders and the public. In such a situation, the question is why the Commission should extend the period of banning rally-road shows again? Shouldn’t political parties be the ideal with restraint and discipline?

See UK example
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been forced to resign after admitting he attended a drinks party during a lockdown. Leading UK betting company claims the 57-year-old prime minister was forced to resign from the Liquor Party during the Corona epidemic. This pressure came not only from the opposition, but also from the Conservative Party on behalf of the Johnson Party. On the other hand, taking India as an example, during the corona epidemic, leaders and political parties openly violated corona guidelines and there was no such rigor against them, which proved to be a lesson to the common people.
What happened in the SP office raises many questions
Assembly elections have been announced in five states in the wake of the corona epidemic. In these states, along with the Electoral Board, corona cases are also on the rise. However, workers gathered at the SP office in Lucknow on Friday and were asked several questions. By the time Swami Prasad Maurya and other leaders joined the party, the corona rules had been violated. Didn’t the police and local authorities know about this beforehand?

FIRs were registered against 2.5 thousand SP leaders after the controversy escalated in the media. An FIR has been registered against party leaders under sections 188, 269, 270 and 341 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with relevant sections of the Infectious Diseases Act. But if the Prime Minister of Britain is forced to resign, the question is why that leader is not accountable in India.
The guideline should be followed
Experts believe that leaders have the right to campaign in electoral states, but they must also follow corona guidelines. The Karnataka High Court decision is seen in this light. The High Court in its decision directed the state government to strictly implement the guidelines issued on January 4, 2022 for corona prevention in all districts of Karnataka.

The High Court directed the government to ban any rallies, dharnas and other political activities in the state. Despite the fact that elections are not being held in Karnataka and no party is campaigning here, the Congress in the state is demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project on the Kaveri river despite the rising corona case and state government sanctions. Huge crowds gathered during the ten-day trek.
Hour is required
The former Chief Electoral Commissioner opined that political parties are also committed to their social responsibility, so they should follow the corona guidelines at any cost. There is a need for the Election Commission to act strictly so that neither the leader nor the people can back down from public health and social responsibility. During the Assembly elections in five states last year, the Commission initially exhibited a slight sluggishness in the performance of its functions, for which we had to bear the burden.

How are the rules followed?
While campaigning is the right of leaders, the rules of the Corona period apply to them as well. How then are these rules followed, and what is the legal accountability of leaders and parties? What is the role of the Electoral Commission? Can leaders and parties be held accountable for supporters violating the rules? About this we Find answers to all these questions in a conversation with Supreme Court lawyer, cyber legal expert and author of the book ‘Unmasking VIP’ Virag Gupta.
Officers should be suspended and leaders should be fined
Whether we saw the crowd gathered at the Lucknow office on Friday or saw other elections held earlier in the corona period, we saw groups of star campaigners, candidates and supporters, groups of people, groups of people rallies and road shows in defiance of the law. Leaders participating in election rallies and road shows have become the largest corona carriers in the country. Although there are a lot of live TV footage to prove the innocence of politicians in election rallies, they are not falling out of hair.

Politicians should suspend police officers if they violate corona rules anywhere, election officials want to answer. If parties that do not wear masks, defy social distance, and collectively charge huge fines like ordinary people are responsible for managing the masses, then the country’s economy will soon recover from the V-shaped path.
Did the parties pressure the Election Commission to ban rally-road shows?
The trend of road shows is against the rules of the election, illegal. The Electoral Commission control system completely collapsed due to social distance and non-observance of masks at rallies and road shows during the Corona period. The Election Commission initially found Kumbhakarni asleep when the five state assembly elections were held last year. Therefore, political parties and candidates have blatantly violated the Corona guidelines at election rallies and road shows.

When the corona cases increased then the commission went to sleep. Now, the third wave of the corona has almost arrived, in such a situation that the Electoral Commission has acted in the public interest by banning rally-road shows. The Election Commission must ensure strict adherence to the rules in elections to the five states.
What should the Election Commission do again?
There are strict orders to follow the rules at Gangasagar Jatara and other religious functions. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission during elections to ensure that leaders, supporters and spectators at election rallies adhere to the rules of vaccination, masks, social distance, etc. The Election Commission has sufficient powers to take strict action against the candidate or party who violates the rules. Local police and election officials should give strict instructions to the Election Commission. Showcause notice may also be given to the party in case of violation at the party level. According to the number of people, once a party and a leader are fined collectively, the rest of the leaders themselves begin to follow the rules.
What can political parties do to prevent a virtual rally from becoming a physical rally?
It is the responsibility of political parties and candidates to abide by the rules. The legal liability of managers on many matters is determined by the police and the courts. It is therefore the task of the political parties to ensure that the virtual rally held at the SP office on Friday does not turn into a physical rally. If a virtual rally without permission becomes a physical rally in any way, it should be considered illegal and action should be taken against those responsible under IPC sections and election laws.

What should the local government do to prevent people from gathering in a virtual rally
The Code of Conduct for Elections with Disaster Management is in force in the Electoral States. Leaders, it is the responsibility of the local government to ensure that the party adheres to those rules. Leaders and party persons contesting elections are given affidavits in accordance with the Constitution, so they have a special responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations during the campaign. Legitimacy is enforced in the true sense of the word if action is taken against ordinary people who violate the rules, as well as FIRs and imprisonment of leaders and candidates.

Range

Due to the Corona border, the Election Commission has extended the ban on election rallies, road shows and public meetings in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, till January 22. New orders were issued on Saturday to this effect. So far this limit is until January 15th i.e. today is Saturday. The Election Commission will review the situation again on January 22. Until then, digital campaigning is the choice for political parties.

The Election Commission has warned political parties to strictly adhere to the Corona guidelines, while state and district election officials have been given strict instructions to focus on political parties, leaders and the public. In such a situation, the question is why the Commission had to extend the period of banning rally-road shows again? Shouldn’t political parties be the ideal with restraint and discipline?

See UK example

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been forced to resign after admitting he attended a drinks party during a lockdown. Leading UK betting company claims the 57-year-old prime minister was forced to resign from the Liquor Party during the Corona epidemic. This pressure came not only from the opposition, but also from the Conservative Party on behalf of the Johnson Party. On the other hand, taking India as an example, during the corona epidemic, leaders and political parties openly violated corona guidelines and there was no such rigor against them, which proved to be a lesson to the common people.

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