If Election Commission is Guilty, So is the Directionless Central Government for COVID-19 Second Wave

With bodies falling like flies and cities turning into cremation grounds, Is Madras HC statement on Election Commission and AIADMK leader concern too little too late.

election

Lets compare two statements, One made by PM Modi on 17th April 2020 at a election rally in Asansol said-

“Have never ever seen such huge crowds at a rally”

Another made today almost 10 days later, Madras HC slams Election Commission saying-

“Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19”.

There is a lot of outrage and a feeling of agreement that finally Madras HC has said something that we all are feeling. But should the responsibility of murder of so many innocent victims fall only on the Election Commission, the constitutional body responsible for holding free and elections. Such well wishers and Madras HC are somehow of the belief that EC is an independent body. On whose orders does EC turns a blind eye towards every election code of conduct violation of BJP candidates?

Elections, the only time the citizens can exercise their right in a country like India have been made into well-oiled machinery in BJP rule at the centre. It announces dates and counting of elections and its whims and fancies. There was no doubt earlier that the central organisations like Election Commission, CBI, ED have been reduced to nothing but puppets in the hands of the fascist govt. One just hopes sometimes that the remnants of democracy that Indians hold dear might turn their fates. But are unfortunately disappointed.

PTI

While the country is battling the second wave of the pandemic and COVID patients holding on to every breath literally, Elections, the dance of democracy as it is romantically called in India goes on. Despite the fears of COVID-19, 5 states went into elections and just to benefit the BJP, the elections were spread out over a period of a month with mammoth election rallies with no COVID protocol whatsoever.

The second wave that is gulping lives in many states seems to have awakened the ruling parties out of their slumber.

AIADMK’s R Vijayabhaskar had filed a petition in Madras High Court raising concerns over whether adequate facilities are in place to ensure COVID-19 protocol during vote counting at the Karur constituency, Tamilnadu. This is also the constituency where he is contesting elections along with 77 other candidates.

In response to the petition, today Madras High Court make strong remarks like –

The Election Commission officials should be tried for murder charges for its failure to stop the abuse of COVID protocol in political rallies thereby contributing to the COVID crisis.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing a petition.

As the hearing progressed, Chief Justice Banerjee aired his concerns over the Election Commission’s failure to act against political parties flouting COVID-19 protocol during the election season.

“You are the only institution that is responsible for the situation today…No action against political parties taking rallies despite every order of the Court,” Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said.

In its order passed on Monday, the Bench observed,

“Despite repeated orders of this court going on like a broken record at the foot of at least every election petition entertained that COVID protocol ought to be maintaining during the campaign time the significance of adhering to such protocol may have been lost on the Election Commission going by the puerile silence on the part of the Commission as campaigns and rallies were conducted without distancing norms being maintained and in wanton disregard of the other items of the protocol.”

When the lawyer on behalf of the Election Commission, Advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan submitted that measures are being put in place to ensure COVID-19 safety norms are maintained during counting. The response of Chief Justice was something that we all have been thinking for last few months. He said-

“Were you on another planet when political rallies were being held?”

Yes another planet where COVID-19 or its protocols do not exist for the ruling party. While the citizens were fined for not putting masks in their cars even when they are alone, politicians were conducting massive rallies with no masks and no social distancing.

The court slammed the counsel and asked to put a plan to ensure COVID-19 protocol during counting at all booths.

There is a fear that counting should not cause further surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The court made some interesting notes about Public health which are quite obvious in an health emergency and many activists have been highlighting since last one year. But maybe it is something that needs to shouted again and again to be seep into the country’s conscience.

Public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when the citizen survives that he enjoys the other rights that this democratic republic guarantees unto him. The situation is now one of survival and protection and everything else comes second to it,” the order stated.

 

While many High Courts have been making similar statements are demanding answers from the government for such an apathy and no concern for lives of people, it doesn’t seem to make any effect on the deaf ears of the govt.

With bodies falling like flies and cities turning into cremation grounds, is Madras HC statement on Election Commission and AIADMK leader concern too little too late.

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