Postpone local body polls, BJP tells SEC

Telangana BJP has demanded the State Election Commission (SEC) to postpone the scheduled local body polls and called upon the government to hold a high-level meeting with public health experts, medical professionals and political parties to deal with the second wave of the pandemic.

“Elections seem to be more important for this government than dealing with COVID when people are dying like ninepins in the absence of adequate facilities in public hospitals and high charges in private hospitals. Health Minister Eatala Rajendra is helpless and cannot recruit doctors or arrange fresh beds without CM’s approval,” charged national OBC president K. Laxman on Wednesday.

At a press meet, he said that the party has also mailed a memorandum to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to intervene and ensure that the local body polls were postponed as there is no constitutional obligation to hold them right away, and “saving people’s lives was more important now than put them in further danger.”

The party is making this demand only after the nomination process is over, lest it is accused of running away from the battle. Without sitting on prestige and considering the overall public health and pandemic, the polls should be put off. The BJP leader wanted to know when the government would spent the ₹1,000 crore announced by the CM for COVID management and when the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ medical insurance scheme would be made applicable to benefit the citizens.

“I was informed that 40 of the 100 tests being done are turning out to be positive, but there is total failure of administration with no proper testing, tracing or treatment facilities. The High Court has been repeatedly reprimanding the government for the manner in which the medical emergency is being managed but the administration has not woken up from its slumber with priorities being elections and revenue generation at the cost of people’s lives,” he observed.

Mr. Laxman accused the government of neglecting the needs of Gandhi, Fever and TIMS hospitals with no adequate recruitment of doctors, nurses or para-medical staff. The government has not made sufficient funds available even in this year’s budget for public healthcare, he added.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 10:29:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/postpone-local-body-polls-bjp-tells-sec/article34380689.ece

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