The Election Commission, slammed by the Madras High Court over its handling of elections amid the second Covid wave that’s ravaging the country, today said it is the responsibility of the state governments and not the Commission to enforce safety measures. The Commission said it would inform the court about the steps it has taken for free, fair and safe election.
The Commission said it had notified the state Disaster Management Authorities to ensure Covid protocols at public gatherings. The poll panel cannot take over the task of the State Disaster Management Authority, it added.
On Monday, the court had said the Election Commission was “singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid”. “Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably,” the court had observed. The stinging criticism came amid concerns flagged by many about crowded election rallies in five states turning into Covid hotspots.
The court had also threatened to stop the counting of votes on Sunday if a “blueprint” was not in place.
The Election Commission today said the statements attributed to the High Court by the media did not find mention in the court’s final order.
The Commission said it has ordered that no victory procession be held on the counting day and only two persons be allowed to accompany the winning candidate to receive the certificate from election officials.