Shiv Sena slams EC, Centre after Madras HC remarks on poll rallies

A day after the Madras High Court said murder charges should probably be imposed on Election Commission of India (ECI) over allowing massive political rallies during the Covid-19 pandemic, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut alleged that the Centre was planning to reward the retired election commissioner by appointing him as a governor.

“The Madras HC said the EC should be held responsible (for spreading the virus). PM Narendra Modi… will certainly take the Madras HC’s remarks seriously. But I have heard in the last few days that the government is planning to reward the retired election commissioner, under whose tenure the elections were held, by appointing him as a governor. However, we trust Prime Minister Narendra Modiji,” said Raut, while speaking to the media.

The Madras HC on Monday came down heavily on the EC for “not stopping political parties” from violating Covid safety protocols during campaign rallies for Assembly polls in four states and a Union Territory over the past month. It further said murder charges should probably be imposed on the panel for being “the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today”.

Raut further said some Opposition leaders had been saying this for months that Assembly elections have a role in the rise in Covid cases. “But few senior BJP leaders in Delhi were preaching to us that Covid has nothing to do with the elections. They were saying Covid cases were rising in states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, where there were no elections. This was not correct. People from across the country were mobilised in West Bengal for campaigning and returned to their states, which led to a peak in the infection,” he added.

The Sena leader further said if there were objections against Kumbh Mela in Haridwar for spreading Covid, then elections in four states were also responsible for spreading the virus.

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