Covid protocols: One rule for citizens, another for politicians


On Sunday, many state governments restricted mobility in urban centres as a measure to slow the increase in the Covid caseload. A fallout of mobility restrictions is that it economically hurts many in the urban informal sector but politicians see it as an acceptable trade-off to manage a surge in infections.

Also read: No rallies till Jan 15, polling time to be increased by an hour

Why doesn’t the same logic apply to political rallies even in states that are not on the election schedule?

Consider two examples from Sunday. Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma travelled all the way to Warangal in Telangana to address a BJP political rally. Given the exponential rise in Covid cases, was a political rally in Telangana unavoidable?

Across the state border, in Karnataka, the Congress party has organised a padayatra on the Mekedatu dam issue. Media reports indicate that there was a congregation of at least 20,000 people on Sunday.

In both cases, the respective state governments did not crack down on these rallies even as individuals making a living are forced to stay home.
In India, Covid protocols apply to ordinary citizens but politicians are exempt from responsible conduct.



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