Executive members of the state unit of NPP during an emergency meeting in Itanagar on Tuesday

Itanagar: The state unit of National People’s Party (NPP) has called upon the Arunachal Pradesh government to defer the ensuing municipal and panchayat elections in the state citing the COVID-19 aka coronavirus pandemic.

Executive members of the NPP who sat for an emergency meeting here on Tuesday opined that once the dates for the panchayat and municipal elections are announced, there would be public meetings and rallies and there is every possibility that the virus could spread (if someone is infected by then).

Appreciating the steps taken by the state government to counter the growing threat of coronavirus in the state, the NPP, however, said that the elections can be conducted once the situation in regards to the virus is completely under control.

The panchayat elections, along with the municipal elections of Itanagar and Pasighat, are due in the state since May 2018.

Panchayati Raj minister Bamang Felix had earlier this month announced that the polls would be held soon. The exact dates were, however, not given out by the minister.

The meeting, held under the chairmanship of NPP state president Gicho Kabak, also resolved to defer its state general body meeting scheduled for March 25 until further notice.

The state government had on Monday decided to shut down all cinema halls, night clubs and weekly bazaars for the next three weeks.

Also Read: Arunachal announces several measures to counter COVID-19 threat

Directives have also been issued that all schools and educational institutions shall be closed till April 5; however, the board and final examinations would be carried out as per schedule.

A notification issued by chief secretary Naresh Kumar on Monday also appealed the people to avoid any gathering, congregations or conferences, be it social, cultural, political or religious, while directions have also been given to the owners of shopping malls to disinfect their establishments on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the day also saw Yari Tok, the former state in-charge of Republican Party of India (RPI), join the NPP.

Tok had contested the 2019 assembly election from the Dayun Bordumsa Assembly constituency as an RPI candidate.

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