Thursday, 20 January 2022

Political Parties in UP wants Polls On Time With Covid Protocol: Election Commission

Political Parties in UP wants Polls On Time With Covid Protocol: Election Commission

In Uttar Pradesh, all political parties have said that upcoming Assembly elections should be held on time while making sure Covid protocol, the Election Commission said today, clearing the air on whether polls will be held due to a spike in new infections.

Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner, told the media that all parties, including the ruling BJP, prime challenger SP, the Congress, and Bahujan Samaj Party, have said the elections must be on time.

The parties had come up with a proposal on how vulnerable populations can be protected from the threat of Covid, Mr. Sushil Chandra said, adding that parties raised a breach of Covid norms in rallies and asked for restrictions to be put in place.

The comment came after an Election Commission team led by the Chief Election Commissioner visited the country's most populous and politically crucial state.

The poll team of the panel visited the state after the Allahabad HC urged it to defer the Uttar Pradesh polls due to a spike in Covid cases driven by the new Omicron strain and requested PM Narendra Modi to ban election rallies.

He said.

Listing steps to prevent a surge in infections, the Chief Election Commissioner said voting time would be extended by 1 hour and eleven thousand booths added to ensure distancing. Detailed guidelines will be issued soon,

He said that frontline poll workers would be fully vaccinated, adding that directions have been issued to ensure that citizen in the state has received at least one dose of vaccine.

He said.

"UP officials have told us that 50 percent of population is fully vaccinated the and only four Omicron cases have been appearing in the state so far,"

Read More: Chandigarh Municipal elections: AAP won 14 seats, BJP 12, and Congress set on eight seats

Low turnout in the past two UP elections is a matter of worry for the poll panel, Mr. Sushil Chandra said.

He said.

"We have in-depth reviewed that and officials are trying to create more awareness,"

To boost women's participation in polls, 800 polling booths for women will be set up, he said.

Mr. Sushil Chandra added.

"We will have an inclusive election in which no voter will be left behind,"

Besides Uttar Pradesh, Assembly elections are due in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Gujarat in the first half of next year.

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