Women attendees listen and cheer during the launch of women-centric initiatives formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi during an event held at the parade ground near the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati, in Allahabad. (Photo: AFP)
Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday urged the central government to stop political rallies from being held in election-bound states amid rising cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
A Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav, while allowing the bail application of a petitioner in a case, said the number of patients infected with Omicron are increasing and there is a possibility of a third wave.
The court said countries like China, Netherlands, and Germany have imposed complete or partial lockdowns due to the rising cases.
During the second wave, the country saw lakhs of people getting infected by coronavirus and many people had died contracting the disease, the HC said.
The gram panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Assembly polls also contributed to a rise in infections that led to many deaths due to COVID-19, it stated.
As the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are nearing, all the political parties are mobilising lakhs of people by holding rallies and meetings where it is not possible to follow COVID protocols, including social distancing, in any way, the HC observed.
If this is not stopped in time, the consequences could be more dire than the second wave of the pandemic, it warned.
The court requested the Election Commission of India to immediately stop such rallies and gatherings and also order political parties to campaign through TV channels and newspapers.
The court said, if possible, the elections that are expected to be held in February next year could be postponed by a couple of months because only if there is life, then the election rallies and meetings can take place and the right to life has also been given under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the court requested him to consider stopping rallies, gatherings and postponing the upcoming state elections, taking strong measures in view of the pandemic situation.
The court made the remarks while allowing the bail plea of a person named Sanjay Yadav.