THE Election Commission has taken serious note of reports emerged of Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata and DMK workers in Tamil Nadu began celebrating the anticipated victory of respective parties. Despite a ban on victory processions imposed by the EC in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the country,Trinamool Congress workers and supporters were seen celebrating in large numbers at Kalighat here on Sunday. DMK workers and supporters were seen celebrating in large numbers outside Anna Arivalayam, the party headquarters here, as official trends suggested the party is leading in the Assembly polls.
TMC supporters were also seen celebrating in Asansol. Physical distancing went for a toss as TMC supporters, thumbing their noses at the raging COVID-19 pandemic, hit the streets, beating drums, bursting firecrackers and smearing ‘gulal’ on one another, prompting the Election Commission to call for action. Several TMC activists had no mask on their faces as they lustily cheered and danced to their party’s ‘khela hobe’ (game to happen) theme song, which played on huge sound systems in the city’s nooks and corners. In the wake of inconceivable gush in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Election Commission had earlier banned all victory processions on or after the day of the counting of votes. The order copy by the Election Commission read, “In view of the surge in COVID 19 cases throughout the country, the Commission has decided to make more stringent provision to be followed during the process of Counting, in addition to exiting Broad Guidelines dated 21st August, 2020 and has directed that no victory procession after the counting on 2.5.2021 shall be permissible.”
It further stated that not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative to receive the certificate of election from the Returning Officer concerned. Amid reports of various political parties holding victory processions as counting of votes cast in the Assembly elections to four States (West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam) and one Union Territory (Puducherry) is underway, the EC has asked the respective State Chief Secretaries of these States and UT to take immediate action to stop such gatherings. The EC has taken serious note of some reports coming in of congregations of people and has directed to file FIR in each such case, suspend SHO of the concerned police station and report action taken immediately of each such incidence.