West Bengal BJP is writing to the State Electoral Commission to request a postponement of citizen polls amid a surge in COVID-19 cases

Citizens' polls postponed due to rise in Covid cases: Bengali BJP to state election commission

Kolkata’s Supreme Court has asked the State Electoral Commission to consider postponing citizen elections

Calcutta:

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, the West Bengal BJP wrote to the State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday requesting that the municipal elections be postponed by a month.

“We would like to add that since the announcement of these elections on December 28, 2021, according to the Bulletin of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of West Bengal, the daily reported COVID cases have increased from 732 to 23,467 on January 13, 2022,” it said .

The BJP said the positivity rate in the state also rose from 2.35 percent on December 28, 2021 to 32.13 percent on January 13, 2022.

“We bring to your attention the citation of the Hon’ble High Court in Kolkata. “Therefore, we dispose of the present petition with instructions to the State Electoral Commission to consider the galloping rate at which COVID cases are increasing and also consider the question of whether holding elections in such a situation is in the public interest and whether free and fair elections are possible on the notified dates, and a decision to postpone the election date of the aforementioned four will be made by local authorities “uncited” for a short period of 4 to 6 weeks, the letter said.

The party went on to say that the High Court also ordered the SEC to consider the galloping speed at which COVID-19 cases are increasing.

It said the court raised the issue of public interest and the issue of free and fair polls in such circumstances.

“Sir, a democracy is all about its people, and that includes elections. It is pointless to put voters at risk of infection in order to conduct elections that are already delayed by 1.5 to 2.5 years,” she added.

It went on to say, “Bharatiya Janata Party once again urges the State Electoral Commission to immediately postpone the four-on-22 for any adverse event, in the interests of the people.”

Earlier Friday, the Kolkata Supreme Court ordered the State Electoral Commission to consider postponing four citizen elections by four to six weeks due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The court ordered the state election commission to vacate their booth within 48 hours.

The elections of four municipal corporations, namely the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, the Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and the Asansol Municipal Corporation, were originally scheduled for January 22, 2022, according to an order of the State Electoral Commission.

However, the High Court has postponed the election by 4 to 6 weeks as the third wave of COVID-19 has hit the state and that the lives of the state’s residents will be threatened if the election is held.

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