Assembly elections set to be held on time, CEC Sushil Chandra concerned by low turnout


Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Thursday said that all political parties were in favour of holding the assembly polls on time, albeit with COVID-19 protocol. Addressing reporters, Chandra said, “Representatives of all political parties met us and told us that elections should be conducted on time following all COVID-19 protocols.”

Chandra said that he was concerned by the low voters turnout in Uttar Pradesh both in 2017 assembly polls and the 2019 parliamentary elections. While 61% of people had exercised their rights to vote in 2017, only 59% of people went to vote in 2019.

“Don’t be surprised by a Lockdown for Omicron and postponement of UP elections to September under President Rule in UP. What could not directly be done earlier this year can be then done indirectly early next year,” Swamy had said.

The Allahabad High Court too had urged PM Modi and the Election Commission to consider postponing the elections in view of the rising cases of coronavirus.

A judge from the Allahabad High Court had said, “The free corona vaccination campaign started by our country’s honourable prime minister in a vast country like India is commendable and the court praises it and urges the honourable prime minister to take effective steps in view of the horrible pandemic to consider postponing and cancelling the election because the hope will exist only when you’re alive.”

Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are scheduled to go to the polls early next year. However, BJP’s Rajya Sabha Subramanian Swamy had recently said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Narendra Modi government imposed President’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh.