TMC urges EC to withdraw decision on postal ballots for voters aged above 65

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Published: July 6, 2020 7:24 PM

In October 2019, the law ministry amended the Conduct of Election Rules to allow people with disabilities and those aged 80 or above to opt for postal ballot during Lok Sabha and assembly elections. 

On June 19, the ministry notified a fresh change in the rules, allowing those aged 65 and above to opt for postal ballot.

The Trinamool Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission to revoke the decision to allow people aged above 65 to vote via postal ballot, saying it was “arbitrary and unconstitutional”. In a letter to the poll body, the Mamata Banerjee-led party also said the decision, which was taken last month in view of the coronavirus outbreak, poses a “threat” to the Indian democracy.

“We consider this move of wanting those above 65 years of age to vote through postal ballots as arbitrary, malafide, unconstitutional, and ex-facie a violation of Right to Secrecy of Vote, Right to Free and Fair Elections, and Right to Health of the Citizens of India,” TMC general secretary Subrata Bakshi said in the letter.

“Our party calls upon the Hon’ble Election Commission of India to revoke the said amendment. We also wish that in future the Election Commission finds in its wisdom to intervene and bar the Centre from usurping the Election Commission of India’s powers vested by the Indian Constitution,” the letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said.

In October 2019, the law ministry amended the Conduct of Election Rules to allow people with disabilities and those aged 80 or above to opt for postal ballot during Lok Sabha and assembly elections. On June 19, the ministry notified a fresh change in the rules, allowing those aged 65 and above to opt for postal ballot.

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