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Allahabad HC urges Centre, EC to halt political rallies, postpone assembly elections 2022

Justice Shekhar Yadav, who was hearing the plea, said if rallies are not halted, the effects would be worse than the second wave. 

Allahabad HC urges Centre EC to halt political rallies postpone assembly elections 2022 gcw
New Delhi, First Published Dec 24, 2021, 8:53 AM IST
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The Allahabad High Court recommended that the impending Uttar Pradesh assembly elections be postponed by a month or two. It also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prohibit election-related gatherings in the state and consider postponing state elections due to concerns over the highly infectious Covid variant Omicron. The court remarked while considering an unrelated bail plea. Justice Shekhar Yadav, who was hearing the plea, said if rallies are not halted, the effects would be worse than the second wave. 

The judge made these remarks after seeing that the court was frequently packed due to the hundreds of cases listed daily and that social distance was not practised by the enormous number of persons who congregated there. The court also stated that as the number of instances of the new strain Omicron increases, there is a possibility of the third wave of Covid. He then cited news stories concerning the amount of Covid cases and nations that had imposed lockdowns.

"The Gram Panchayat elections and the Bengal assembly elections affected a large number of individuals, resulting in numerous fatalities," the court stated. He stated that political parties are organising rallies and meetings for the impending UP assembly elections, and that adhering to Covid standards in such events is unfeasible.

Judge Yadav suggested that the EC restrict all types of rallies and gatherings for the assembly elections and instead direct political parties to campaign through Doordarshan or publications rather than actual events. Invoking Article 21 of the Constitution, he said that all Indians had the right to life. Uttar Pradesh is likely to be the most hotly contested and politically significant election since it contains the most Lok Sabha seats, which are vital in general elections.

Also Read | Omicron threat: Centre advises states to consider local curbs, ramp up vaccination ahead of festive season

All political parties have already begun their major election campaign, with celebrity campaigners attracting large crowds at numerous events around the state. The Prime Minister, Home Minister, State Chief Minister, and leaders of all major opposition parties have all been spotted addressing large crowds without regard for Covid procedures. Several further protests are scheduled throughout the rest of the month and early next year.

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