Postal ballot facility for Covid-hit in Kerala local body election
Since the assembly is not in session it will be brought as an ordinance, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office.Updated: Sep 16, 2020 19:35 IST
The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to introduce necessary amendments in the state Panchayati Raj Act to extend postal ballot facility to Covid-19 patients during the local body polls.
The local body elections in the state are likely to be conducted by mid-October. Trends in the local body polls that precede the assembly elections are usually indicative of voter preferences.
Since the assembly is not in session it will be brought as an ordinance, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office.
Earlier state election commissioner V Bhaskaran had proposed to the government to bring amendments in the act to facilitate either proxy voting (a voter can delegate his family member or others to cast his vote) or postal ballot for those who are Covid-19 positive and placed under quarantine. But the opposition Congress and BJP have opposed proxy voting and said they were not averse to the postal ballot.
The ruling CPI() feels that it is unfair to keep a large number of people out of the poll process due to the pandemic situation. In some areas in the state, reverse quarantine is strictly implemented and in that case people above 65 will also face problems.
Reserve quarantine is a practice of separating vulnerable people, aged or people with co- morbidity conditions from the rest and monitoring their health indicators closely.
Meanwhile, the state has reported the highest single-day tally with 3830 Covid cases, taking the total number of Covid-19 infected to 1,17,806. Some 84,608 have recovered and the active cases stand at 32,709.
With 14 more casualties, the death toll went up to 480. Kerala was the first state in the country to report a coronavirus case in January but half of the total cases in the state have come up in the last one month.