The Election Commission of India on Tuesday issued orders banning all victory procession and celebrations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases on or after May 2.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami DMK President Stalin and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan
news 2021 TAMIL NADU ASSEMBLY ELECTION Saturday, May 01, 2021 - 19:02

Ahead of the counting day on Sunday, political parties in Tamil Nadu urged functionaries to remain calm and avoid celebrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. AIADMK, DMK and MNM have issued directive to their party cadre. 

In a joint statement on Friday, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “During the counting and at the time of results declaration, the cadre should be calm like former TN CMs Anna, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. It's important to function safely and it's our duty during this pandemic.” 

"You all should follow the government rules, the guidelines of officers and should hold only most necessitated celebrations by following the protocol. You should not burst crackers nor take processions," the statement said and requested the cadre to follow the words from MGR’s song that “humility and courage must come when the position comes.” 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam requested cadre to follow the precautionary measures as advised by the Madras High Court and the Election Commission of India. 

DMK president MK Stalin in a statement titled ‘Let the streets be desolate but hearts rejoice’, on Friday said, ''In this grim situation, cadre should not join together as results arrive and become a victim for the infection. But you should stay at home, know the results and celebrate.”

He said, “I know that the cadre is excited to know the results and the exit polls predict a major victory for the party. However, Tamil Nadu is grappling with the pandemic and it's frightening to see the lack of beds and oxygens.”

“Hence, my main motto is to safeguard the lives of the cadre rather than to celebrate the victory. I request the same even from other party members,” Stalin appealed. 

MNM chief Kamal Haasan also issued a statement on Saturday urging functionaries to not crowd the counting centre and to stay at home. “You will be awaiting the election results but during this time you should not forget to safeguard yourselves. You should not crowd in the counting centres and apart from the poll agents, the other party members should remain safely at home,” he stated.

"More than the election, you and your family’s safety is important. So there is no need to rejoice the victory nor worry over the loss. Let us all continue the work for people," he said.

Unlike previous elections, the Election Commission of India on Tuesday issued orders banning all victory procession and celebrations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases on or after May 2, the counting day for the Assembly elections in four states and union territory of Puducherry. 

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