View: The poll process must be made safer and the Election Commission’s de facto autonomy bolstered

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The basic purpose of campaigning is to get the political message of parties and candidates across.

Synopsis

Once dust from this round of state elections settles and new governments assume office, EC will have to initiate consultations to ensure tighter guidelines for candidates and parties. Traditional campaign theatrics like roadshows and the use of star campaigners in a post-Covid era needs reevaluation.

On April 6, West Bengal remained the lone state where assembly elections were yet to be completed. An unremitting rise in daily Covid-19 cases since coincided with the campaigning in Bengal reaching a crescendo. This led to the Election Commission (EC) finally proscribing political roadshows and public meetings attended by more than 500 people.

BJP’s claim that electioneering had not ‘revealed any trend by which the rise in Covid cases can be

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