Some newly-elected ULB members take oath virtually

Several newly-elected ward members of seven urban local bodies (ULBs) that went to elections recently took oath virtually on Friday during the special meetings convened to elect the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, as they were in home isolation after being COVID positive during the election process.

A total of 17 ward members out of the 248 elected to the seven ULBs – nine in Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation, three in Khammam Municipal Corporation, four in Atchampet Municipality and one in Kothur Municipality, were administered oath virtually through a video link by the authorities concerned.

The recent elections to the seven ULBs in Telangana, held during the ongoing pandemic, the process for which was concluded on Friday with the indirect election of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson posts, have set many precedents for such processes held during pandemic situations.

Curtailing the period of campaigning, restrictions on campaigning, on holding rallies, road shows and meetings, extending the silence period to 72 hours before the commencement of polling, restricting number of persons in campaigning teams only to five, including the candidate, restrictions on the number of vehicles allowed in road shows and allowing campaigning only between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. were some of the firsts the recent ULB elections saw.

Although there was large-scale criticism, particularly from the opposition parties on holding the elections during the pandemic, the State Election Commission carried out the exercise with several precautions and restrictions. Making COVID-negative certificate mandatory for all staff involved in polling and counting exercises was also one of the firsts, according to the SEC authorities.

State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi said that it was for the first time in the country that ULBs’ members, who were in isolation due to the infection, were administered oath virtually. Exchange of garlands, shawls and bouquets was also not allowed during the ULB chiefs’ election. Only the MPs, MLAs/MLCs who had given option to be the ex-officio members were allowed at the special meetings following all other COVID guidelines.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:08:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/some-newly-elected-ulb-members-take-oath-virtually/article34509807.ece

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