Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. (File image)

The Assam health department has requested the State Election Commission to postpone the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases, said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

“The health department has categorically asked the state election commission to defer the BTC polls. We have written to the election commission as well as to chief secretary to postpone the elections and withdraw the model code of conduct,” health minister Sarma told reporters on Saturday.

Sarma said that if the elections now take place in BTAD, the COVID-19 infection will spread further not only in the four BTC districts but also in other adjoining districts of the state.

The minister said that if the Covid-19 situation further deteriorates due to the elections, the health department will not be able to handle the pandemic.

He said that hospitals have already faced oxygen shortage.

Assam has so far recorded 1, 50,349 Covid-19 positive cases, including 1, 21,610 recoveries and 528 deaths.

Across Assam, more than 1,600 doctors and health workers have so far tested positive for the virus.

As per sources, the BTC polls are likely to be held in September -October.

The BTC poll was earlier slated for April 4 and it was postponed indefinitely in view of the COVID19 pandemic.

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