No victory rallies, polling agents to undergo COVID test

Parties ask workers to strictly follow pandemic protocol on counting day

With the COVID-19 spread threatening to run out of control, major political parties have asked their workers to follow the pandemic protocol on May 2, the counting day. There won’t be any victory processions on Sunday when the results would be out.

Polling agents of the CPI(M) and the Congress, the key contestants in most of the Assembly constituencies of the district, will undergo screening tests for the disease on Saturday. Political parties will depute at least 21 polling agents, who clear the antigen and RTPCR tests, each to all the 14 Assembly constituencies of the district.

For each constituency, there would be 21 to 28 counting agents. Besides these agents, the CPI(M) has drawn up a reserve list of around 45 party functionaries, who would be deputed in case of any agent testing positive, said C.N. Mohanan, CPI(M) district secretary.

The party has already issued two rounds of directives to its functionaries at local levels to follow the protocol. The final round of instructions will be issued on Saturday. Party workers have been asked to strictly abide by the norms and instructions of the Election Commission not to hold processions at local levels. Candidates and election agents have been asked not to stay back at counting stations and to leave the premises as soon as the counting is over, said Mr. Mohanan.

After organising classes for its counting agents, the Congress has asked them to arrive at a private lab in the city on Saturday for COVID tests. Since there would be 21 counting tables, the party would depute 21 agents each for the Assembly constituencies. An additional list of 10 agents has been drawn up for the Ernakulam constituency, said T.J. Vinod, former Ernakulam DCC president and the UDF candidate in the Ernakulam constituency.

Instructions were issued to UDF workers to strictly follow physical-distancing norms and other health protocol and not create any situation that would worsen the health scenario of the district. There would not be any processions and rallies post-counting, he said.

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