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Election Commission approaches SC against MP high court order

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After the Madhya Pradesh High Court restricted physical political rallies in nine districts of the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Election Commission (EC) has approached the Supreme Court arguing that the high court is interfering with the poll process.

Notably, bye-elections for 28 Assembly seats are scheduled next month in Madhya Pradesh and political parties are engaged in a full-blown campaign, caring the least about safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This led to an order by the Gwalior Bench of the high court on Wednesday. The high court asked district magistrates not to give permission to any candidate or political party for public gatherings unless they can prove that a virtual election campaign is not possible.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court also orders that FIRs be filed against Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath. The bench also directed the administration for strict restrictions on political rallies.

Madhya Pradesh govt also approaches SC

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also decided to approach the Supreme Court against the high court order.

Also Read: India’s COVID-19 case tally touches 77.61 lakh, over 10 cr tests done so far

In a video message, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan apologised to the people of Ashok Nagar’s Shadora and Bhander, where he was expected to attend two political rallies. The rallies had to be cancelled following the order of the court.

“We respect the high court and its decision. But regarding this decision, we will go to the Supreme Court, because it is like having two laws in a single land,” Chouhan told a news agency.

“In some parts of Madhya Pradesh, physical political rallies are allowed. It is not allowed in another part. Political rallies are being held in Bihar, but it is not allowed in a part of Madhya Pradesh. So, we will seek justice from the Supreme Court,” the chief minister added.

Arguments of EC

The Election Commission has argued that the order of the high court interferes with the poll process and conduct of elections that falls in the domain of the election body. It has also contended that the high court order will derail the poll process and the restrictions imposed by it will affect the level playing field for candidates.

 

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