Court urges poll body, PM above Omicron
- The court made the observations during the hearing of an unrelated bail application
- The court asked to postpone the next UP polls by a month or two
- Relying on Article 21, the judge declared that all Indians have the right to life
The Allahabad High Court today asked the Election Commission to postpone the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh for a month or two. He also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban election-related rallies in the state and to consider postponing state elections for fear of the highly contagious variant of Covid Omicron. The court made the observation during the hearing of an unbound bail application.
“If the rallies are not stopped, the results will be worse than the second wave,” Judge Shekhar Yadav said, adding that “Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai (if there is life, we have the world). “
The judge made the observations after pointing out that the courthouse was regularly crowded as hundreds of cases were listed daily and social distancing was not followed by the large number of people who gathered there. “There is a possibility of a third wave of Covid as cases of the new Omicron variant increase,” the judge observed. He then cited reports on the number of Covid cases and mentioned countries that have imposed closures.
“The Gram Panchayat elections and the Bengal Assembly elections infected a lot of people, which also caused many deaths,” the judge said. He stressed that political parties were organizing rallies and rallies for the upcoming UP Assembly elections and that it was impossible to follow Covid protocols in such events.
Judge Yadav called on the EC to ban rallies and gatherings of any kind for parliamentary elections and to order political parties to campaign through Doordarshan or through newspapers and not through physical events. Relying on article 21 of the Constitution, he declared that all Indians have the right to life.
Uttar Pradesh is perhaps the most contested and politically important election, as it also has the most seats of Lok Sabha who play a crucial role in the general elections. All political parties have already started their big election campaign with star activists drawing huge crowds at various rallies around the state. The Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Chief State Minister and leaders of all major opposition parties have been seen addressing huge rallies with no opportunity to follow Covid protocols . Several more rallies are planned for the rest of the month and early next year as well.
Crowds without masks and the lack of appropriate behavior for Covid during the election sparked widespread criticism. As the number of cases of the highly contagious variant of the Omicron virus steadily rises, there are fears that pre-election political rallies could turn into high-profile events that the state’s health infrastructure may not be fully equipped to cope with. .