Congress spokesperson Dr Lallianchhunga addressing the media on Monday
Congress spokesperson Dr Lallianchhunga addressing the media on Monday|EastMojo Image
MIZORAM

Mizoram Cong, BJP demand state EC to defer local body polls amid COVID-19

Both Cong, BJP request govt to defer local body polls due to surge in novel coronavirus cases in state

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Mizoram Opposition parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Monday asked the state election commission (SEC) and state government to defer the upcoming village council and local council polls due to the surge in novel coronavirus cases in the state.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Congress spokesperson and media department chairman Dr Lallianchhunga said that Mizoram is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases with more new cases being reported every day.

He said that the state is in such a situation where community spread can take place at any time.

“We are of the opinion that holding elections in this time of Covid-19 spread is not safe for people as many voters will refuse to turn up for polling,” he said.

He said that the party asked both the SEC and state government to review their decision and defer the upcoming local body polls by taking into account the rising case of Covid-19 and public health.

The Congress also asked the SEC not to hold the local council polls simultaneously with village council polls.

State BJP president Vanlalhmuaka also asked the state government and SEC to reverse their decision of holding local body polls on August 27 amid Covid-19 spread.

He said that holding elections in such a pandemic period will only result in more disaster.

The leader expressed apprehension that the state government might have been involved behind the announcement of local body polls in a hasty manner during the pandemic.

“The BJP will investigate the matter and submit its findings to the Union home ministry and state election commission,” he said.

Vanlalhmuaka also slammed the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga over inclusion of Bru voters from Tripura in the village council roll.

He asked the state government to take measures to ensure that the Bru voters are deleted from the state electoral roll at the earliest.

Meanwhile, state election commissioner Laima Chozah said that the upcoming polls will be held as per schedule on August 27 unless there is further order.

On Bru voters, an election official also said that they will be removed from the state electoral roll once they are enrolled in Tripura and the Election Commission of India intimate about the matter.

The last date for filing nomination papers for village and local councils polls was fixed on August 11 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature was fixed on 13 August.

Counting will be undertaken on August 27 as soon as polling is over.

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