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UP Election 2022: FIR lodged for defying COVID protocols, model code violation at SP's 'virtual rally'

The move was conducted after a large crowd gathered at the SP headquarters on Friday afternoon to celebrate the party's acceptance of former BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini, and other MPs.

UP Election 2022 FIR lodged for defying COVID protocols model code violation at Samajwadi Party virtual rally gcw
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Lucknow, First Published Jan 14, 2022, 9:01 PM IST
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According to the Lucknow Police Commissioner, an FIR has been issued against more than 2,000 leaders of the Samajwadi Party for violating COVID-19 norms as hundreds attended a virtual gathering. The police report that no authorisation was obtained for the event. The move was conducted after a large crowd gathered at the SP headquarters on Friday afternoon to celebrate the party's acceptance of former BJP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini, and other MPs. "We investigated the incident and discovered a breach of the Model Code of Conduct and COVID-19 standards. We've filed an FIR in this case," Lucknow DM Abhishek Prakash said.

On Friday, the Samajwadi Party conducted a virtual gathering in Lucknow, but hundreds of party employees and fans arrived at the party headquarters in violation of the COVID protocol. The event was addressed by SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and former UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who joined the party today with his followers.

Also Read | UP Election 2022: Ex cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya, others join Samajwadi Party

Responding to this, SP party state chairman Naresh Uttam Patel emphasised that people at the event followed the COVID procedure and slammed the BJP, claiming that the crowd could be seen at the doorsteps of BJP ministers and in marketplaces. "It was a virtual celebration within our party's headquarters. We didn't call anyone, yet people showed up. People are operating under COVID procedures. The mob gathered even at the doorsteps of BJP ministers and in marketplaces, but they have a problem with us," Patel said.

Soon after the virtual rally, a team of Lucknow Police officers arrived at the party headquarters, alleging a violation of the COVID guidelines and a violation of the Election Commission of India's Model Code of Conduct. The Election Commission of India has barred political parties from physically campaigning till January 14 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the new Omicron version.

Also Read | UP Election 2022: BJP wickets falling one after the other, says SP leader Akhilesh Yadav

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