Chandigarh, Jan 10 (PTI) SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday urged the ECI to call an all-party meeting to reach a consensus on the way of campaigning.
Badal made the request while asking how could parties reach out to the poor who do not have access to smartphones and the internet.
In an unprecedented step, the Election Commission, while announcing the poll schedule on Saturday, banned public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in the five poll-bound states, citing the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases and issued stringent safety guidelines.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had urged political parties to shift to the digital mode of campaigning and had also said that the poll authority would review the COVID-19 situation on January 15 and take a further call on allowing public rallies.
The Punjab assembly polls will take place on February 14 and counting will be held on March 10.
Talking to reporters here, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Badal said, “It has become a complex situation. There are poor people residing in villages. They do not have smartphones, no resources, no internet,” said Badal adding how could they learn about the views of political parties.
He said there was a full campaign during presidential elections even in the USA during COVID-19.
Asked if the ECI should rethink its decision, Badal said, “They should look at every aspect of it. They should set some norms. If you say everything is virtual, then it is impossible. The majority of people are very poor. For them, it is very difficult.” “Till January 15, let them (ECI) take an assessment,” he said.
“Maybe they should call an all-party meeting where all the stakeholders should be called and views should be taken and come out with consensus.
“In states where elections are going to be held, all political parties should be called and a consensus should be built on the way of campaigning,” he said. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX
source: PTI News