New Delhi: Union Health Secretary on Thursday briefed the Election Commission of India (ECI) over the latest Covid-19 situation in five states that will soon be going for assembly polls. The dates for elections in these states are expected to be announced soon with restrictions on rally crowds and vaccination drives in full swing.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur are expected to have assembly elections in February and March.
As part of the consultation process the ECI has been conducting tours in states that will be going for assembly polls soon to take feedback from the political parties and administration. As part of the process, the ECI is also holding regular meetings with the Health Ministry to get the exact picture of the third wave of the pandemic and the possible period of its `peak’ and decline in cases. Union Health Secretary Mr Rajesh Bhushan also briefed the ECI on the threat posed by the Omicron strain as fresh cases move to touch one lakh mark in the country.
The ECI has urged states to increase immunization to cover as much eligible population as possible before the polls. While delaying the assembly polls may not be feasible for the ECI, the panel is expected to announce curbs in rallies and crowds in these rallies in view of the rising Covid-19 cases. In politically charged Uttar Pradesh, political parties like Congress have already started canceling their rallies and started going on virtual and digital mode to communicate with voters....