The Election Commission of India has issued a notice to Samajwadi Party on Saturday 15th January 2022 for breaking the COVID-19 guidelines in Uttar Pradesh. On Friday 14th January 2022, Samajwadi Party had organized a virtual rally in the party office at Lucknow’s Vikramaditya Marg. However, there was a gathering of more than 2500 party workers in the so-called virtual rally. The Election Commission has given the SP 24 hours to respond, failing which it can take action.
The election commission had earlier on January 8 announced a ban on physical rallies in light of the surge in Covid-19 cases in parts of the country. Initially, this ban was scheduled to be imposed till 15th January. On Saturday, this ban was extended till January 22.
The notice sent to the SP General Secretary said that prima-facie, the Samajwadi Party has violated the lawful directions of the Commission to ban physical rallies. The EC said that after media reports of violation of Covid guidelines of the Commission in a public gathering in the office compound of Samajwadi Party, a report was sought from the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh. The report by the Chief Electoral Officer stated that the guidelines were violated by the party by organising the event.
It further said, “Now, therefore, the Commission, after considering the available material and extant instructions in the matter, has decided to provide you an opportunity to explain your stand regarding the said violations. Your explanation shall reach the Commission within 24 hours of receipt of this Notice, failing which the Commission shall take appropriate decision in the matter without further reference to you.”
The EC notice added that an FIR has already been filed against SP in this regard at the Gautampalli Police Station.
Earlier on Friday, the Lucknow Police had registered an FIR against the leaders and workers of the Samajwadi Party who attended the rally. The Lucknow Police Commissioner had registered an FIR against around 2500 SP leaders under sections 188, 269, 270, and 341 of the IPC along with section 54 of the Disaster Management Act and section 03 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
‘Leaders can’t talk unless there is a crowd in front of them’, says Akhilesh Yadav
Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav has come up with a very strange explanation regarding this matter. A video has appeared in which he is heard saying that he did not know the definition of the virtual rally.
I didn’t know definition of Virtual Rally: Akhilesh Yadav— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) January 15, 2022
Imagine such idiots as CM. pic.twitter.com/EfEmLimozX
He said, “We were informed by our party workers that there will be a virtual rally. Now, we were unaware of the definition of the virtual rally. So, I felt that there will be a few people in front of us and all the things will be recorded by the camera and sent to our supporters virtually. Those who wanted to come came there straightaway. We did not invite anyone. Because leaders can’t talk unless there is a mic and a crowd in front of them.”