Other States

Congress argues against expansion of postal ballots

The Congress termed the expansion of the scope of the postal ballot “unconstitutional and illegal”.

The Congress termed the expansion of the scope of the postal ballot “unconstitutional and illegal”.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

A Congress delegation on Friday made a virtual presentation before the Election Commission against the decision to allow citizens aged 65 and above to use postal ballot in the coming elections.

The Opposition party asked the Election Commission to withdraw the decision, which it said was taken without consultations with stakeholders and political parties.

Also Read | Larger parleys must on postal votes: CPI(M)

In a memorandum signed by senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala, the Congress argued that the decision allows voters to come under “organized administrative influence”, violates the secrecy clause and makes election officials more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus infection.

Mr. Singhvi and Mr. Surjewala argued on behalf of the Congress.

“We request this Hon’ble Commission to utilize its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and direct the immediate withdrawal of this decision and amendment to the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961,” the Congress’s memorandum said, terming the expansion of the scope of the postal ballot “unconstitutional and illegal”.

On June 19, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law Ministry reduced the age limit for senior citizens opting for postal ballot in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Voters in the Bihar Assembly election are likely to be the first beneficiaries of the revised guidelines.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 8:21:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-argues-against-expansion-of-postal-ballots/article31984953.ece

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