Ram Vilas Paswan said that the Assembly elections in Bihar should be postponed in view of the coronavirus situation. Bihar is slated to go to polls in October-November.
Bihar Assembly election 2020: Senio Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan has sided with the opposition in demanding that the Election Commission defer the Assembly elections in Bihar scheduled for October-November this year.
Paswan, a Union minister and leader of a party which is a constituent of the NDA in Bihar, said that the polls should be postponed in view of the coronavirus situation in the state. He said the cases are rising rapidly in Bihar and “no one knows where this will stop”.
“In such a situation, lakhs of teachers will be performing the duty of polling officers, lakhs of security personnel will be deployed. Therefore, the LJP is in favour of postponing the polls,” he said.
There has been a growing clamour among the opposition ranks in Bihar for postponing the elections in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The parties have demanded that the state be placed under the President’s rule after the Legislative Assembly’s session expires on November 29.
The Constitution mandates the ECI to hold elections at any time within six months before the five-year term of the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly expires. The Election Commission has so far maintained that the polls in Bihar will be held as per the schedule and assured that preparations are taking place with Covid-19 situation in mind.
Paswan is an eight-time Lok Sabha member. He is currently a Rajya Sabha MP from BJP’s quota. His party had joined the BJP-led NDA ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Paswan is the lone minister from LJP in the Modi government.
His son Chirag Paswan has also spoken against holding elections during the pandemic. He said that it is beyond his understanding how elections can happen with social distancing norms in a state with a population of 10 crore.
“Every public representative wants to meet as many people as possible. If in that effort, they do a rally with no social distancing and there is one mistake, then you will be putting a big population in danger. Aap jaan boojh ke logon ko maut ke mooh mein nahi daal sakte,” he had told The Indian Express.
Bihar is the first and only state that is scheduled to go to polls this year in the midst of the pandemic.