With the rise in Covid-19 cases surge in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday exhorted polling officials and said that the Election Commission has totally failed to implement Covid guidelines during campaigning and voting at the time of state assembly election.
The order was announced on the day of the sixth phase of polling in the election that took place for 43 constituencies.
Political rallies and polling
Shamik Bagchi, the advocate for the writ petitioner, said, “The court has said that the Election Commission can take the help of the Rapid Action Force to control big political rallies during the pandemic.”
Similarly, Radhakrishnan says that the Election Commission has acted like a ‘mere spectator’ during the rise of the Covid-19. He also asked why the quick response team is not called to look into the situation and maintain Covid protocol during the voting and campaigning.
The court further said that the matter will be discussed again virtually on Friday. In addition to these, the Calcutta court has asked the Election Commission to submit a short affidavit on these observations.
Inactiveness by the Election Commission
As per Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan, the Election Commission of India has full power to implement Covid guidelines but failed to do. He said such inactiveness by the election commission can’t be permitted.
The Calcutta High Court order read, “We are not satisfied by the materials on record to state that the Election Commission of India and its officers on the ground in West Bengal enforced their circulars. We are sure circulars are not merely advisories to be wrapped up by political parties or those involved in political propaganda or the public at large.”