Other States

Ensure physical participation of voters in Bihar polls, says CPI(M)

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu addressing the media.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu addressing the media.   | Photo Credit: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar

In response to the Election Commission’s letters to the political parties seeking their views on the modalities to be followed for holding the Bihar Assembly elections at a time of COVID-19 pandemic, the CPI(M) has said the commission should “ensure conditions that permit elections to be held on the basis of physical participation of voters and political parties.”

Health and safety of people are of utmost importance, Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu said in his letter. In this context, he wrote, “We want the Election Commission to ensure conditions that permit elections to be held on the basis of physical participation of the voters and the political parties.”

He urged the EC to ensure that a level playing field is provided to all political parties. “It is clear that exclusive virtual campaign-driven activity is loaded in favour of parties which have unlimited financial resources at their command. Therefore, campaign and polling exclusively through the digital mode is not acceptable to us,” he said.

The party has demanded that election campaign public meetings adhering to physical distancing and other such safety requirements be allowed.

“The Constitution mandates the Election Commission to ensure that the holding of elections should be in a manner which does not allow any unfair advantage for any party contestant,” Mr. Basu wrote.

The CPI is still to respond to the Election Commission. Speaking to The Hindu, CPI General Secretary D. Raja said, “There has to be a conducive atmosphere to hold election. And considering we are facing a pandemic, the onus is on EC to ensure maximum participation of people. Use of social media by political parties for carrying out a digital campaign should also be brought under regulation.”

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 2:28:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ensure-physical-participation-of-voters-in-bihar-polls-says-cpim/article32225988.ece

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