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Set example by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks: EC to political leaders | India News

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NEW DELHI: Taking a serious view of laxity on part of some political leaders in maintaining Covid safety norms, particularly not wearing face masks, the EC on Friday advised political leaders to set an example by not only maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, etc, themselves but also exhorting all the local formations who attend their campaign programmes to follow Covid protocols.
“It is advisable that political leaders/candidates who have incumbent duty to control spread of Covid, demonstrate by their personal example and nudge all supporters in the beginning of rally, meetings, campaign itself to wear masks, use sanitizers and put in place crowd control measures as per social distancing norms,” EC stated in a communication sent to the heads of all recognised national and state parties. It further cautioned that the commission, in cases of breach, would not hesitate in banning public meetings, rallies etc. of the defaulting candidates/star campaigners/ political leaders without any further reference.
Pointing to the recent rise in Covid cases, EC said instances had come to its notice where norms of social distancing, wearing of masks etc have been flouted in disregard to the Commission’s guidelines dated August 21, 2020 on Covid-safe poll campaigning. “Instances of star campaigners/political leaders/candidates not observing Covid protocols including non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or while campaigning have come to notice. By doing so, the political parties and candidates are exposing themselves as well as the public attending such election meetings to the grave danger of infection,” noted EC.
The poll panel sought the fullest cooperation from the political parties and candidates in strictest observance of the protocols so that all the Covid guidelines are adhered to by all the participants including organizers in the electioneering.
As per Covid guidelines issued in view of Bihar polls last year, EC had asked parties and candidates concerned to ensure that all Covid-related requirements like face masks, sanitizers, thermal scanning etc. are fulfilled. It had then added that non-compliance of instructions during the period of public interface would attract action under the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

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