Manipur civil voluntary organisations have jointly appealed to the authority concerned not to conduct by-election during COVID-19 pandemic.
A joint press release by Committee of Civil Societies of Kangleipak (CCSK), Ethno Heritage Council (HERICOUN), United Commercial Manipur (UCM), League of Indigenous People's Upliftment (LIPUL) and Manipur Muslim Welfare Organization (MMWO) has stated that conducting election amid COVID-19 pandemic would create a serious threat in preventing the ongoing health crisis.
The state government and election commission should conduct an assessment on holding the by-election during pandemic before finalising it, it added.
Stating the political scenario of the state during the tough time of the outbreak, it said that MLAs are resigning seats when their roles are significant to serve the public, which is quite unfortunate. Considering their irresponsible acts, it is not appropriate to hold any election during this crucial period, said the CVOs.
It further said that the Central government had released broad guidelines for conduct of the election, and after discussing the guidelines, conducting the election during COVID-19 will end up intensifying COVID-19 cases in the state. Although the state government is putting all efforts to contain the pandemic, the number of positive and death cases is increasing every day, and the experts are assuming that pandemic may be intensified in the month of October, it added.
As per guidelines from the Centre, it allows movement of security personnel, door to door campaign by candidate with five members excluding security personnel, road shows, election meetings such as public gathering, rallies by adhering COVID-19 standard of operating procedures, said the release.
The CVOs have appealed in the release that taking note of the entire scenario, the state government should once again consider not conducting the election during the crucial health crisis in the state.