Counting of votes for Uttar Pradesh’s panchayat elections, questioned by many for happening in the course of an unprecedented coronavirus disaster, started on Sunday morning alongside that for the carefully watched polls in West Bengal and different states.
The course of started a day after the Supreme Court refused to put it on hold and the State Election Commission (SEC) mentioned the candidates and their brokers will likely be allowed to enter the counting centres provided that they’ve examined detrimental for COVID-19 within the 48 hours previous to the graduation of the counting course of or taken each doses of the vaccine.
Despite assurances of the election physique that COVID-19 guidelines will likely be strictly adopted, scenes from counting centres on Sunday morning confirmed social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines being violated in a number of districts.
The urgency of the agricultural polls had been questioned amid the large spike in coronavirus instances which have swamped hospitals and crematoriums and a petition from a lecturers’ physique that mentioned 700 lecturers had died whereas they had been on responsibility through the four-phased elections.
A curfew will likely be imposed in areas close to the 800 counting centres and no victory rallies will likely be allowed in UP after the outcomes are out, the courtroom was assured by the ballot fee, which additionally mentioned that senior officers will be certain that COVID-19 protocol is adopted. The Supreme Court directed the officers to avoid wasting the CCTV footage of all of the counting centres.
Citing the scary Covid spike within the state, the highest courtroom had earlier requested the state election fee if it might delay the counting. “Despite the situation, you need to go ahead? Can you have it after two weeks so that the medical facilities can be improved?” the courtroom mentioned.
“You want to proceed despite all odds? Heavens will not fall if counting is deferred by three weeks,” the highest courtroom mentioned in a pointy comment.
The UP Election Commission, nevertheless, instructed the courtroom: “We have taken a decision to go ahead.”
“Teachers’ association has filed a petition, and they are unwilling to work. How do you handle the situation?” the courtroom additional requested, referring to the plea which talked about 700 teaches died through the polling course of.
“If something goes wrong, senior officers on duty will be held accountable,” the highest courtroom mentioned.
Polling for the four-phased panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh ended on Thursday.
Opposition leaders have hit out on the Yogi Adityanath authorities over the dying of lecturers who had been on ballot responsibility. Congress chief Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the state authorities in a collection of tweets.
“These elections have been conducted in almost 60,000 gram sabhas of UP without any thought of the catastrophic onslaught of the second wave… What is happening in UP is nothing less than a crime against humanity and the CEC is playing along,” she mentioned.
Uttar Pradesh’s coronavirus caseload swelled to 12.5 lakh with 34,372 instances reported on Saturday. The state, broadly believed to be underreporting the size of the disaster, has the fourth highest variety of instances within the nation after Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.
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