Vote Counting Coincides With Bhopal Gas Tragedy Anniversary: Party Workers Can’t Be Stopped From Celebrating Poll Victory, Says Candidates

Vote Counting Coincides With Bhopal Gas Tragedy Anniversary: Party Workers Can’t Be Stopped From Celebrating Poll Victory, Says Candidates

BGIA says the industrial disaster does not hold importance for Election Commission

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, November 26, 2023, 12:15 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): This time, unlike every year, the anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy will coincide with the counting of votes for the assembly elections on December 3.

Though it is a day to pay tribute to the gas tragedy victims, political party candidates have said that they will not provoke party workers to celebrate on the counting day, but they also cannot stop them from celebrating victory.

On the other hand, the disaster victims in a memorandum, addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, handed over to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) urged to differ the date of counting. For locals, a holiday marks the day every year, however, this time, the day will fall on Sunday.

On the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, one of the biggest industrial disasters took place in the city. An estimated 3,000 people died within the first few days of the tragedy. People too suffered life-long health issues. Largely, old Bhopal was affected, which comes under Bhopal North and Bhopal Central assembly constituencies.

Sitting MLA Arif Aqueel (Bhopal North) said, “Celebration will be on same day of the counting of votes after victory as it is totally a party workers’ affair. If party workers celebrate, how can we stop them.”

BJP candidate (Bhopal North) Alok Sharma said, “It depends on the party workers. About one week is to go for counting, so after meeting with party workers, it will be decided. But one thing is sure that I will offer tributes at the UCC plant before moving to Old Jail for counting.”

BJP candidate (Bhopal Central) Dhruvnarain Singh said, “I will not provoke party workers, but I cannot stop them from celebrating. The tragedy had occurred on the intervening night of December 2 and 3 and results would be out after evening, so celebrations would be only after the evening.”

Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) Rachna Dhingra said, “Chief Election Commission of India does not find any importance of the Bhopal gas tragedy, which killed so many people and still many are suffering due to health issues. Definitely, party workers cannot be stopped after victory, but it is up to the Election commission to decide.”

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