Bihar political parties urge Election Commission to postpone state polls due to Covid-19, floods
The political parties in Bihar have requested the postpone the assembly election in the state due to Covid-19 and floods, reported Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan. While the state recorded its biggest spike in Covid-19 cases on Saturday, it has seen close to 5 million affected by the floods.
According to Hindustan, the Election Commission had asked for suggestions from political parties in Bihar about holding elections in the state in the wake of the current situation. All the major parties, except Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), have asked for postponing the state polls, it reported.
These political parties (seven national and 43 regional) have replied to the poll panel till its scheduled deadline of July 31. The BJP’s ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) too has told the Election Commission that elections should not be held in the state in the current challenging situation.
The Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have already sought the postponement of polls. The BJP and JD(U) have, meanwhile, said that they are prepared and have left it on the Election Commission to decide.
Bihar is expected to witness the elections in October-November, according to Hindustan. Most of the political parties have not even started election-related work, except BJP and JD(U).
Meanwhile, Bihar reported the biggest spike in Covid-19 cases with 3,521 new infections and 14 deaths on Saturday. The spike in cases coincided with the highest number of testing of samples - 28,624 - reported by the state health department on Saturday.
“Of the 3,521 cases reported Saturday, 2,502 samples were tested on July 31 and 1,019 on July 30, taking the state’s overall case tally to 54,508, with 18,722 active cases,” said Bihar’s health secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh during the media briefing.
The state is also battling floods, which claimed two more lives in Bihar on Saturday taking the death toll to 13. The number of people affected by the floods, across 14 districts, stood at 49.05 lakhs, up from 45.39 lakhs on Friday.
According to the department, the state has received a total average rainfall of 768.5 mm since the onset of monsoon, which was 46 per cent above normal.