Before the assembly elections next year, the EC discussed the COVID-19 situation in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Punjab.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) met with senior officials from the Union Health Ministry to discuss the ongoing coronavirus situation in five states that will vote next year, amid growing concern about COVID-19. The Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, was also present at the meeting on Monday, according to ECI sources. Assembly elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Punjab next year.
“The Election Commission of India will meet with senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, on December 27 at 11 a.m. “Highly placed sources close to ANI said the meeting will discuss the current COVID19 situation for the upcoming Assembly elections in five states.”
The Allahabad High Court has asked Prime Minister Modi to postpone the UP elections.
The meeting comes after the Allahabad High Court asked the ECI on Thursday to postpone the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. In light of the newly spreading COVID variant Omicron scare, the court requested that the polls be postponed for another 1-2 months. The court also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Election Commission of India (ECI) immediately ban all political party rallies and public meetings in the state.
In a case involving a bail order, the Allahabad High Court bench led by Justice Shekhar Yadav urged the Election Commission to issue immediate directions prohibiting political parties from holding rallies in the state. “Jaan hai toh jahaan hai (if there was life, hope would remain),” Justice Yadav said in an appeal to the election body and PM Modi, suggesting that the polls be postponed for another few months.
The court also praised India’s mass vaccination campaign and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing free coronavirus vaccination to the country’s citizens.
India’s COVID situation
On Sunday, India reported 6,987 new COVID-19 cases. According to a report from the Union Health Ministry, the total death toll has risen to 4,79,682, with 162 new fatalities reported. With a total of 17 states reporting cases of the new variant, the national Omicron tally has surpassed 400. The variant, which was first discovered in South Africa, is rapidly spreading, with high numbers of cases reported in Delhi and Maharashtra.