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MP govt to approach SC after restriction on poll rallies

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday decided to approach the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court that restricted physical political rallies in nine districts because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, a division bench of the High Court had asked magistrates of nine districts under its jurisdiction not to permit any candidate or political party to hold public gatherings without compelling reasons.

Meanwhile, in a video message on Thursday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan apologised to the people of Ashok Nagar's Shadora and Bhander, where he was expected to attend two political rallies. The rallies had to be cancelled following the order of the High Court.

"We respect the High Court and its decision. But regarding this decision, we will go to the Supreme Court, because it is like having two laws in a single land," Chouhan told a news agency.

"In some parts of Madhya Pradesh, physical political rallies are allowed. It is not allowed in another part. Political rallies are even being held in Bihar, but it is not allowed in a part of Madhya Pradesh. So we will seek justice from the Supreme Court," he added.

On Wednesday, while ordering that First Information Reports be filed against Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the division bench also called for strict restrictions on political rallies.

Permission for rallies can only be granted if the political party or candidate is able to satisfy the magistrate that a virtual election campaign is not possible, the court said.with agency inputs

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