Considering the recent accident leading to injuries to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission on Sunday directed all political parties, candidates and star campaigners to follow all security protocols.
The poll panel has asked all parties to follow the security protocols till the upcoming elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, slated between March 27 and April 29, end. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
It suggested the leaders follow the rules in their own interest and to avoid any possible sensational impact on general law and order across states/UT in case of any untoward incident.
In its direction, the commission said that star campaigners, who have been provided cover by the security agencies, must adhere to the security protocols laid down to avoid any security breach which may expose them to risk.
Also, all candidates including star campaigners must follow the safety instructions during the use of any vehicle including helicopters as prescribed under the relevant laws to avoid any accident, which may endanger the life and property of individual and public at large.
Giving utmost importance to the security of star campaigners and candidates, the Commission has directed that these instructions must be brought to the notice of all the parties and candidates including star campaigners for strict compliance.
The commission’s direction comes after reports that the star campaigners on some occasions are not adhering to the security protocols laid down by the security agencies and exposing themselves to security risk during the campaign.
Attention has also been drawn that the safety provisions as prescribed in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 (applying seat belt etc.) are also not being followed in some cases, thereby violating the existing statutory provisions punishable under law.
The Commission has, time and again, emphasised on the safety and security of all candidates during the campaign.