The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has expressed its strong reservations over the state election commission’s (SEC) decision to hold the panchayat and municipal elections in the state next month.
The SEC had on Thursday announced that the much-anticipated panchayat and municipal polls would be simultaneously held in the state on December 22, after a delay of almost 2 years.
Expressing surprise over the SEC’s decision to conduct the elections despite several political parties and stakeholders calling for the same to be postponed till a more conducive time, the AAPSU said the opinion of the state’s health department should also have been taken into cognizance by the poll panel before taking the decision.
“The health department has clearly opined for postponement of the simultaneous elections till the passing of winter rather than taking the unfathomable risk. The state health task force constituted by the state government to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic has also written to the SEC to defer the proposed municipal and panchayat polls till the winter season,” the AAPSU said in its statement on Friday.
The union said it has been voluntarily working towards tackling the Covid-19 pandemic in the state from the very start and has also at times been lending its helping hand to the health department and other frontline warriors in its initiatives to contain the spread.
“The state is already reeling under weak health infrastructure and shortage of manpower. Can the SEC guarantee the safety of the people during the entire period of the election? The election commission should reconsider its decision to hold the polls next month,” the AAPSU said.
The union further said “any spurt of Covid-19 cases including possible casualties in the rural areas of the state, which are until now largely unaffected by the pandemic, during the said election process, shall be the sole responsibility of the SEC.