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Calcutta HC refuses to lift ban on entry of visitors inside puja pandals

The Election Commission has taken a serious view of the laxity on the part of political parties and candidates in terms of maintaining crowd discipline during the ongoing state election campaigns.The Commission has advised the political parties to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering.It said, the CEOs and the District Machinery are  expected to invoke appropriate and relevant penal provisions against the candidates concerned and the organizers responsible for such violations.Separate instructions for strict compliance of guidelines were also issued to Chief Electoral Officers and State Governments of poll bound states.In its letter written to the General Secretaries and President of all the National and State Political parties, the Commission said instances of public meetings with large number of crowds assembling in utter violation of social distancing and where the political leaders and campaigners are addressing the gathering without wearing masks have come to the notice of the Commission. The Commission further said that political parties and candidates are not only flouting the guidelines of the Commission with impunity by such action, but also exposing the public and leaders themselves to the danger of infection during the pandemic.

-Election Commission of India has issued notice to the Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath for alleged violation of model code of conduct in connection with bye- elections to the State Legislative Assembly.In the notice, the Commission asked the Congress leader to explain his stand in the matter within 48 hours failing which it will take a decision without furhter reference to him. The Commission issued the notice to Kamal Nath for his alleged remarks against the BJP candidate Emarti Devi  during his public meeting at Dabra in Gwalior on 18th of this month.The BJP had filed the complaint in this regard.

-Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the Punjab government cannot change laws made by the Centre and asked if the farmers will get the minimum support price by the state assembly legislations. The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre's new farm laws and passed four bills it said will counter the contentious legislation enacted by Parliament. Reacting to the move, Kejriwal called it a "drama" and claimed that the Punjab government cannot change the laws made by the Centre. The Punjab Assembly also adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre's new farm laws. The opposition and farmer unions claim that the new laws will lead to the dismantling of the MSP system, a suggestion repeatedly denied by the BJP-led government at the Centre.

-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 has given people of other states a "licence" to own property in Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a rally in Jamui,Tarari and Paliganj assembly constituencies of Bihar, he said that "Earlier, a person from this part of Bihar could not even think of owning property in Kashmir. The Congress had put such a system in place. But Narendra Modi and Amit Shah changed all that. Article 370 has been scrapped and the people now have a license to purchase and own property in any part of Kashmir. Yogi also took potshots at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, both of whom have questioned the revocation of special status to Kashmir.The people of the country are happy over scrapping of Article 370. But these two leaders seem to be more interested in making Pakistan happy, he said.

-The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to lift the ban on the entry of visitors inside puja pandals, a day before the start of Durga Puja – the biggest festival in West Bengal. The court, however, provided some relief to puja organisers by raising the cap on the number of committee members and local residents into a pandal; and allowing the entry of dhakis (drummers) as part of the celebrations. “No further modification is thought appropriate so that the effect of the effect of the order is not diluted or the purpose thereof defeated,” stated the order passed by the division bench of the Calcutta high court. Five applications were filed by various puja organisers in and around Kolkata and the Forum for Durgotasab seeking a modification of the court’s order. These review petitions were heard on Wednesday.



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