The Election Commission of India has written to Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs where counting is underway to "prohibit victory celebrations urgently". The commission has directed that responsible SHOs and other officers must be suspended immediately and criminal and disciplinary actions must be initiated against them.
The ECI's direction came after it was brought to the attention of the commission through media that at certain locations in some states, public celebrations in context to today's counting are being carried out which is in contravention of the directions issued by the Election Commission vide letter dates April 21 and May 1.
"Such activities must be prohibited urgently," the ECI order said.
The ECI said that all necessary actions must be taken to ensure strict compliance with its directions wherein all such activities have already been prohibited in view of the pandemic.
The Commission further directed that the responsible SHO(s) and other officers must be placed under suspension immediately and criminal/disciplinary actions must be initiated against them.
News agency ANI earlier today tweeted videos of TMC workers erupting in joy and celebrating the party's lead in the Assembly elections in West Bengal. Scores of DMK workers in Tamil Nadu too were seen celebrating outside party headquarters in Chennai as official trends show the party heading towards a comfortable majority.
Notably, the Election Commission has banned victory rallies or gatherings in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.
The counting of votes for the assembly polls in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry is underway at a time the country is grappling with a raging Covid-19 pandemic.