The Allahabad High Court on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Election Commission (EC) to consider cancelling or postponing the upcoming Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections in view of the looming threat of a possible third wave rising out of the Omicron variant of Covid.
Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav said the elections, slated for February, should be postponed and election rallies led by political parties should be banned. "They should be asked to campaign through TV and newspapers," the judge said expressing concern for the public at large. The poll panel should take strict steps to stop these poll campaigns, he added.
Justice Yadav's observation came while he was deciding a bail plea and saw crowds not maintaining social distance in court. "In courts I see people standing really close together not maintaining any social distance even as there is a rising number of COVID cases because of Omicron, the new COVID variant and the possibility of the third wave," the court said.
Jaan hai toh jahaan hai: Allahabad High Court
Justice Yadav raised concerns over the looming threat of covid in light of the upcoming state elections next year. According to Dainik Samachar, in the last 24 hours, 6000 COVID cases were reported and 318 deaths, Justice Yadav said referring to a news report.
"In the second wave earlier this year, we saw lakhs of people were infected because of COVID and many died as a result of," Justice Yadav said. We also saw many people were infected during the gram Panchayat elections and the polls in West Bengal which led to the deaths of many," he added.
Once again, its election time because of which the political parties are gathering lakhs of people to campaign where it is impossible to maintain COVID protocols of any kind. And this time, if these rallies are not stopped in time, then the aftermath will be even worse than the second wave, the judge pointed out.
In such a situation, the high court urges the poll panel to stop physical rallies and direct the political parties to campaign through Doordarshan, newspapers and if possible, postpone the elections scheduled to be held in February for a month or two because if life would remain, then election rallies, meetings will continue to happen," Justice Yadav said.
Praising Modi's efforts over the vaccination drive, the judge urged the prime minister to re-consider the upcoming elections pointing out that "jaan hai toh jahaan hai" (if there is life, there is the world).