Itanagar: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) expresses its strong reservations regarding the recent decision of the State Election Commission (SEC) to go ahead with Municipal and Panchayat Elections in the state in a single phase with the date of issue of public notice by the Returning Officers scheduled to start from 24th November 2020.
Political Parties active in the State have all jointly voiced for postponing and conducting the simultaneous elections at a later date. Further, the State Health Task Force (SHTF) constituted by the State Government to tackle the Covid-19 Pandemic has also written to the State Election Commission (SEC) to defer the proposed Municipal & Panchayat Elections till the winter season is over as there are high possibilities of the re-lapse of the Covid-19 cases in the state.
The Union has been working towards tackling Covid-19 pandemic in the state from the very start voluntarily and also at times, has been lending its helping hand to the Health Department and other frontline warriors in its numerous initiatives to contain the spread.
However, we, at the same time, are very much surprised at the adamancy of the State Election Commission (SEC) on conducting the elections despite unanimous opinion by all Political Parties and stakeholders to defer the elections till the time is more conducive.
Opinions of the Department of Health should have been taken into cognizance which has clearly opined for postponement of simultaneous elections till passing of winter rather than taking the unfathomable risk.
The state is already reeling under weak health infrastructure and shortages of manpower. Does the State Election Commission (SEC) guarantee safety of the people during the entire period of the election? The Commission should reconsider and re-look into its decision to hold the polls.
Any spurt of Covid-19 cases including possible casualties in the rural areas of the state which are till now largely unaffected by the pandemic during the said election process shall be the sole responsibility of the State Election Commission (SEC).