Kerala

Postpone local body elections: NSS

The Nair Service Society (NSS) has approached the State Election Commission (SEC) seeking the postponement of the local body elections at least for this year in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

In a letter to the SEC, NSS general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair said the move to conduct the elections to the local self-government institutions ignoring the crisis was highly deplorable.

“The impending elections are hardly six months away from the Assembly elections, which is due in May 2021. Political parties in the State, despite slew of restrictions, curbs and prohibitions as part of COVID- 19 protocol imposed by the Central and State governments, are gearing up to contest the elections with all their might as the local body elections were crucial in the run-up to the Assembly elections. Once the election process sets in, COVID-19 protocols will be breached with impunity. It will be a disaster if the elections are held amidst the spread of the virus,” the letter said.

“There is no action plan either by the Election Commission of India or the State Election Commission to conduct the elections in a safe manner,” it added.

Fear of manipulation

The NSS also raised concerns over the possibility of manipulations in the democratic exercise if conducted during the pandemic. “The move to let senior citizens vote through postal ballot raises serious concern of free and fair election. The current situation justifies the postponement of election in public interest,” the letter stated.

The letter also pointed out the postponement of the elections to the local bodies in Andhra Pradesh which should have been held in March.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 4:35:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/postpone-local-body-elections-nss/article32346359.ece

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