India

Parties Want Polls To Be In Line With Covid Protocol: Election Commission

In addition to Uttar Pradesh, Assembly elections are expected in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Gujarat in the first half of next year.

New Delhi: All political parties in Uttar Pradesh have said the next assembly elections should be held on time while securing the Covid protocol, the Election Commission said today, clarifying whether the polls will take place in the middle of a spike in new infections.

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  • Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra told media that all parties, including the ruling BJP, the first challenger Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party, among others, have said the elections must be held. hold in bad weather.
  • Parties have provided suggestions on how to protect vulnerable groups of the population from the threat of infection, Chandra said, adding that parties have raised violations of Covid regulations in protests and called for limits are imposed.
  • The remarks came after a team from the Election Commission led by the Commissioner General of Elections visited the country’s most populous and politically important state.
  • The panel group visited the state after the Allahabad High Court urged it to postpone the Uttar Pradesh elections amid a spike in Covid cases led by the new Omicron strain and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban election protests.
  • Listing measures taken to prevent an upsurge in infections, the chief electoral commissioner said voting time will be extended by one hour and 11,000 voting booths will be added to ensure distancing. Detailed guidelines will be released shortly, he said.
  • Front-line investigators will be fully vaccinated, he said, adding that indications have been issued to ensure everyone in the state has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
  • “UP officials told us that 50% of the population is fully vaccinated and only four cases of Omicron have been reported in the state so far,” he said.
  • The low turnout in Uttar Pradesh’s last two elections is a cause for concern for the election commission, Chandra said. “We have looked at it extensively and officials are trying to raise more awareness,” he said.
  • To increase women’s participation in elections, 800 polling stations for women will be set up, she said. “We will have inclusive elections in which no voter is left behind,” Chandra added.
  • In addition to Uttar Pradesh, Assembly elections are expected in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Gujarat in the first half of next year.
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