Congress, RJD, CPI, CPI(M), RLSP, CPI(ML), HAM were signatories to the letter that was sent to the poll body. (HT Photo)
Congress, RJD, CPI, CPI(M), RLSP, CPI(ML), HAM were signatories to the letter that was sent to the poll body. (HT Photo)

‘Should not become super spreader event’: Congress, RJD to EC on Bihar polls

The parties said that Covid-19 pandemic has affected the state badly and the cases may be much more than the reported figures as testing is still not as intensive as it should be.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2020 02:41 PM IST

Citing the “alarming exponential surge” in Covid-19 cases across the length and breadth of the state, and the lockdowns that are likely to follow, a host of opposition parties in Bihar wrote to the Election Commission asking it to review if fair and free polls can be held during this raging pandemic. The letter further underlined the fear among the electorate and the parties that the “poll exercise does not become a super spreader event”.

Congress, RJD, CPI, CPI(M), RLSP, CPI(ML), HAM were signatories to the letter that was sent to the poll body.

The parties said that Covid-19 pandemic has affected the state badly and the cases may be much more than the reported figures as testing is still not as intensive as it should be.

“It is safe to assume that there are many more infected people who are either asymptomatic or have not yet been tested in the state,making their public movement a risk for others around them. It is also projected that infections would cross a million in Bihar by the tentative election schedules in October-November,” the parties argued in the letter.

The parties asked how will the EC ensure physical distancing in a state with a population of 13 crore with 7.5 crore eligible voters. The two yard distancing has been repeatedly advocated by WHO, Indian Council of Medical research and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“People need explicit clarity so that wholesome participation of majority of voters is not adversely impacted. People also expect the commission to ensure and satisfy the people that entire poll exercise does not become a super spreader event,” they said.

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