HYDERABAD: Stating that the night curfew imposed by the government should be taken as an example to check spread of coronavirus, Telangana Congress election committee chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy on Tuesday urged the Telangana State Election Commissioner C Partha Sarathi to postpone the polls to seven urban local bodies and nine wards.
Not only the lakhs of voters and political leaders but also 9,000-odd employees drafted for polling duties and another 3,000 police personnel and their families stand the risk of getting infected with coronavirus if elections are held during the alarming surge of Covid during the second round,” Shashidhar Reddy said.
“As the polling personnel have to reach the polling stations one day before the polling day and they have to stay that night there itself we can imagine the agony and plight of polling personnel and their families. These elections could be super spreaders. We request the State Election Commission to postpone the ensuing elections to save the lives of the public otherwise the State Election Commission and State Government will be held responsible for any harm caused to the people,” Shashidhar Reddy said.
He said the State Election Commission and state government have taken the unilateral decision to conduct these elections without taking into consideration the opinion of political parties and representatives of the employees and others.
Though the High Court expressed its view that it will not interfere in the poll process and said that it is for the State Election Commission and State Government to take a decision in this regard. However, the Court, in another petition, came down heavily on the state government for not taking steps to reduce the gathering of the people in public places.
As the court specifically found fault with the state government for not taking steps to reduce gathering of people in public places, the SEC should reconsider postponing the proposed elections so that people will not be exposed to grave risk of infection with Covid-19.
“We also draw your attention to the fact that chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has tested positive for Coronavirus and is suspected to have been infected at a public meeting in Haliya during the election campaign in Nagarjuna Sagar assembly constituency. TRS candidate Nomula Bhagat and several leaders who were present on the dais have tested Covid positive,” Shashidhar Reddy said.