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Health secy to brief EC on COVID-19 situation ahead of next year's Assembly polls

The meeting will discuss the prevailing COVID19 situation for upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

Sri Lasya Edited by: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya
New Delhi Updated on: December 26, 2021 23:54 IST
poll body, elections
Image Source : PTI

Poll body, Health Ministry crucial meet tomorrow to discuss polls in 5 states amid Omicron scare

Highlights

  • The Election Commission of India will convene a meeting with senior officials of Health ministry.
  • The commission is likely to seek updates from officials on COVID situation and emergence of Omicron.
  • The Election Commission (EC) is expected to announce election dates for 5 states next month.

The Election Commission of India will convene a meeting on Monday, the 27th of December with senior officials of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare including Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, said sources.

The meeting will discuss the prevailing COVID19 situation for upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

The commission is likely to seek updates from Bhushan on the COVID-19 situation and the emergence of Omicron, the new coronavirus variant, sources said on Sunday.

The terms of Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur legislative assemblies are ending on different dates in March next year while the assembly's term in Uttar Pradesh will end in May.  The Election Commission (EC) is expected to announce election dates next month.

The commission may also seek suggestions from Bhushan on improving its COVID-19 protocol for poll campaigning, polling days and the dates of counting.

On Tuesday, the chief election commissioner (CEC) and fellow election commissioners are scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh to take stock of the poll preparedness in the state.

An Allahabad High Court bench of Justice Shekhar Yadav had on Thursday urged the government and the poll panel to consider postponing the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for a month or two and banning all political rallies amid fears of an impending third wave of COVID-19.  

When asked about the observation, CEC Sushil Chandra had said in Dehradun on Friday that the EC will be visiting Uttar Pradesh next week and "an appropriate decision as required by the situation will be taken after we review it". The commission has already visited Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand as part of its pre-poll stock-taking exercise. 

(with PTI inputs)

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