Postpone municipal elections: Congress to SEC

Former Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir has urged the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) to postpone the elections to 7 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), including Greater Warangal and Khammam Municipal corporations, in view of the worsening COVID pandemic situation.

In a letter to Election Commissioner C. Parathasarathi, he reminded that the State government has cancelled the SSC exams and promoted Intermediate First Year students while postponing the second year exams. COVID guidelines have also been revised to make them more stringent so as to prevent further spread of the virus among people. So why is the government in a hurry to conduct these elections, he asked.

Mr. Shabbir Ali also reminded that many national events, including the historic Kumbh Mela, have been wound up 13 days before schedule. “Since elections will involve intense electioneering by all political parties and candidates by way of public meetings, rallies and other gatherings common people will face the risk of infection. Even door-to-door campaigning will not be safe as many asymptomatic people may move freely in these districts as super-spreaders,” he said demanding the postponement.

The Congress leader said that Telangana was seeing huge spike in the COVID cases across, and as per the government figures the cases had touched a record 4,446 cases and 12 deaths on April 16 and the number crossed further later. “As against 13,272 reported in Telangana from April 3 to 9, the figure touched 22,240 cases between April 10 and 16, registering a whopping 68% increase,” he said.

The number was increasing at an alarming rate in the poll-bound districts. Compared to the previous week there has been a huge increase this week and it was 215% in Warangal Rural; 47% in Warangal Urban; 124% in Khammam; 105% in Nagarkurnool; 105% in Siddipet; 88% in Nalgonda; 76% in Mahabubnagar and 73% in Ranga Reddy district.

"While the entire country is finding ways to minimise the damage due to the second wave it would be highly inappropriate for the Telangana State Election Commission to hold polls at this juncture. It will be like exposing 11,26,221 voters and their families in 7 ULBs to the risk apart from 9,000 polling staff and thousands of security personnel, who will be deployed for poll duties.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 3:29:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/postpone-municipal-elections-congress-to-sec/article34353357.ece

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