What will happen to UP elections and its campaigning under the threat of the third wave of covid-19?
Legislative Assembly Elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh from 10th February 2022 to 7th March 2022 in seven different phases, amidst the outrageous widespread of omicron variant. Since there is a rapid increase in the number of corona cases and the country is in jeopardy, there were speculations that were being made by citizens that elections would be postponed to avoid public gatherings.
However, all these speculations got resolved when chief election commissioner – Sushil Chandra addressed the upcoming UP elections and said in a press conference in Lucknow that no delay would be made in elections and, it would be conducted as per the given schedule. “Representatives of all political parties met us and told us that elections should be conducted on time following all covid-19 protocols.”, he added.
The Election Committee isn’t ready to postpone elections and coronavirus isn’t prepared to stop its atrocities. The one who is grinding in the middle is the general public. Who will be responsible if the public gets affected by the contagious virus? Not the politicians! They had forgotten the time when the nation was in tremendous turmoil and hospitals were not empty to admit patients.
Despite ensuring that covid-19 protocols would be followed, visuals of political leaders and their allies participating in rallies and campaigns in mass number of people, following no covid-19 norms, and encouraging social gatherings are going viral on the internet. These are the same leaders, one of whom would be leading and representing the state in such crucial times of pandemic. The images and videos of leaders and their allies conducting campaigns and rallies went viral on social media, gaining a subject of enormous controversy and compelling people to doubt their potential.
How can we expect a non-covid-19 India under the leadership of such leaders? The ones who are not concerned about the rules and regulations of the country, how can they expect their public to follow the rules? Are they even worth our votes?
The one who gets easily exposed to the virus is the general public. The leaders do not even have to worry about the hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, as they have flexible approaches to all the problems due to their “fame”. Even if they get infected by the virus, do they have to rush for the beds in hospitals? No. All the luxuries will be provided to them in the comforts of their home.
The one who gets choked under the burden of expensive bills of the hospital is the middle-class public. The general public suffers the most for hospitals and even oxygen cylinders. Their campaigns, their rallies, their votes, their fame and, “our” suffering? It’s high to confront such ministers as they won’t pay our hospital bills and neither would they grant their own life to us. The elections are an open invitation of much darker times but, it’s us who are concerned; they are busy inducing the public to vote for them!
How can a leader who isn’t bothered about covid-19 rules, who is discouraging covid-19 protocols by avoiding them for their political benefits, can lead a state?
Voices have been raised on the Election commission to take strict actions against those leaders for the violation of covid-19 norms, in response to which, Sushil Chandra said that their responsibility begins after poll dates are announced and up till then, the responsibility of maintaining social distancing lies in the hands of state government.
Mr Chandra also assured that frontline poll workers will be fully vaccinated and, it should be ensured that every voter has received at least one dose of vaccine. A guideline related to elections and covid-19 would be issued shortly before elections to ensure the safety of the general public, he added.
However, EC has banned poll rallies and roadshows till 22nd January to maintain the rules of covid-19. But, how can the ministers who claim to work for the welfare of the country be so self-centered about their benefit that they don’t feel concerned about the safety of their nation?
According to reports, UP witnessed 15,553 new cases as of 18th January 2022, with one than one lakh active corona cases. The infectious virus is at its peak, the numbers are constantly increasing and, the fear among people is at a surge yet, the Yogi government isn’t ready to postpone elections. Keep your masks up, sanitize yourself from time to time and maintain social distancing. Your one single vote can change the shape of our nation, so vote wisely!
edited and proofread by nikita sharma