The Election Commission of India has confirmed that it is unlikely to postpone the state polls due early next year. On Monday, the health Secretary briefed the Commission regarding the Omicron threat in the country, especially in the poll-bound states. The commission has directed the government to vaccinate all those on election duty ahead of the polls.
Even as the daily COVID cases are rising in the country, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan submitted a report to the commission according to which the assembly polls in five states- Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and UP, are likely to be held at the scheduled time.
Election Commission's Decision Despite Criticism From Court
The health secretary said in the meeting that 'while Omicron spreads fast, it doesn't cause severe symptoms or lead to hospitalisation and responds well to home treatment'. It has also been said that Omicron was under control in poll-bound states. Last week, the Allahabad High court had urged the EC to consider postponing elections and suspending rallies in UP due to rising COVID cases in the state. The Union health secretary indicated to the panel that there was no reason to panic, reported Business Standard.
During the second wave of COVID-19, the EC's decision to hold assembly elections in West Bengal, Kerala was under the scanner. Despite facing criticism over its decision, the EC had cancelled hundreds of rallies and issued notices to political parties for violating Covid-19 guidelines. However, the decision to hold assembly elections despite facing criticism from Allahabad HC makes us question whether this decision will be fair for the public at large.