The Election Commission has come under heavy fire from opposition parties as well as courts for holding panchayat and assembly polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Election Commission of India has postponed the biennial elections to the legislative councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. The EC said that the term of office of three members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and six members of Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of respective Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) are expiring on May 31, 2021 and June 3, 2021 respectively.
“As per the provisions of Section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the seats of State Legislative Council which are going to be vacant on the expiration of the term of the members, are required to be filled up by holding biennial elections before the said expiration of the term,” it said in a statement.
- What is Model Code of Conduct? Know about MCC guidelines, violations and history
- Assam election 2021: Strict COVID protocols, reduced voters per booth and more – Election Commission lays down elaborate plans for upcoming polls
- Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019: 9 crore voters, an assembly seat with 1 sq km area, some interesting facts
Notably, the EC had not rolled out any schedule for the legislative council polls so far. It today said that the elections will be held only after the Covid situation improves significantly. “The Commission has reviewed the matter today and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate to hold a biennial election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these biennial elections,” said the EC.
The poll body said that it will decide on the matter at an appropriate time in the future after taking inputs from the concerned states and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like NDMA and SDMA.
Notably, the Election Commission has come under heavy fire from opposition parties as well as courts for holding panchayat and assembly polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While panchayat polls were held in Uttar Pradesh, five states – West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry – voted between March 27 and April 29. The result of the polls was announced on May 2. The states that went to the polls have all witnessed a spike in the coronavirus cases as COVID-19 guidelines were openly flouted during campaigning despite strict directives from the Election Commission.