Uttarakhand High Court Asks EC to Consider Virtual Election Rallies Amid Rising Covid Cases

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A division bench of the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to consider conducting virtual election rallies in the state, which is likely to go to the polls next month. The HC noted why the election rallies cannot be held virtually when courts and other offices are operating online.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra and Justice Alok Verma made the observation while hearing litigations filed by different parties seeking delaying the assembly elections amid rising Covid-19 cases in the hill state.

In their application, Dushyant Mainali, Sachidanand Dabral and others noted that political parties were flouting basic Covid protocols and it was necessary to delay the elections considering the health of citizens.

“The court mainly made two observations. It asked the central election commission whether virtual election rallies are possible in the state. The court also suggested election commission to see if elections could also be held virtually in future,” said CS Rawat, chief standing counsel, Uttarakhand.

The division bench also sought details from the district monitoring committees on the precautions being taken to curb Covid in the state. The next hearing in the matter will be held on January 12.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand reported 505 new Covid cases on Wednesday while the positivity rate reached 2.74%.

Even as the cases are on the rise, BJP and Congress have planned public gatherings in the coming days. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will address two rallies in Srinagar Garhwal and Almora on Sunday while defence minister Rajnath Singh will be in Uttarkashi to conclude BJP’s ‘Vijay Sankalp Yatra’ on Thursday.

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