Should election campaigns be made virtual? | The Hindu Parley podcast

The Election Commission of India should either enforce virtual rallies or not conduct elections if the pandemic persists.

Updated - April 29, 2021 04:24 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2021 08:38 pm IST

India is witnessing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with record numbers of new cases and deaths every day. At the same time, States holding Assembly elections have seen mass rallies by political parties. In most such rallies, especially in West Bengal, which still has two phases to go and where campaigning is still on, COVID-19 protocols such as masking and physical distancing are blatantly flouted.

In view of the COVID-19 surge, and the fact that public rallies are super-spreader events, should campaigning be restricted to virtual mode — at least until the pandemic is behind us? Here we explore this question.

Guests: Neelanjan Sircar , an Assistant Professor of political science at Ashoka University, and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Sanjay Kumar , a political analyst, psephologist, and co-director of the Lokniti Research Project at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi.

Host:G. Sampath

Read the Parley article here .

You can now find The Hindu ’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

Search for Parley by The Hindu . Write to us with comments and feedback at

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.