Will polls in 5 states be postponed? Decision likely today
New Delhi, Dec 26: The Election Commission of India will convene a meeting on December 27 with senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare including Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to discuss the prevailing Covid-19 situation for upcoming Assembly elections in five states, reports ANI.
The top brass from the commission is likely to seek updates from Bhushan on the Covid-19 situation and about the new variant of coronavirus Omicron, sources said on Sunday.
The terms of Uttar Pradesh Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur Legislative Assemblies will come to an end on different dates in 2022.
After the Allahabad High Court urged the Election Commission to postpone the Uttar Pradesh elections, the poll panel said that it will take an appropriate decision. "Next week we will go to Uttar Pradesh, review the situation there, and then take an appropriate decision," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra told ANI.
The Allahabad High Court had requested the Election Commission to postpone the Uttar Pradesh Elections 2022 by month or two. The observations were made in the wake of the rising number of Omicron cases in the country.
The court also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban election-related gatherings in the state. The observations were made while hearing an unconnected bail petition. "If rallies are not stopped, results will be worse than the second wave. Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai, Justice Shekhar Yadav said. The observations were made after pointing out that the court was regularly crowded as scores of cases were listed daily and social distancing was not being followed.
On the other hand, the Chief Election Commissioner and fellow Election Commissioners are scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh to take stock of the poll preparedness in the state. The commission has already visited Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand as part of its pre-poll stock-taking exercise.
The dates of the elections for the five states are expected to be announced in January. The EC is likely to get suggestions from Bhushan on improving its Covid-19 protocol for poll campaigning, polling days and the dates of counting. PTI