ECI postpones 8 assembly, one LS bye-polls: seeks political parties’ views on holding assembly elections during Covid-19 lockdown

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Election Commission of India has deferred 7  assembly and one Lok Sabha bye-elections till 7th September this year. And has also sought suggestions of political parties for conducting general assembly elections in some states during Covid-19 pandemic. Assembly and Lok Sabha bye-elections should be held within six months since they are declared vacant. The decision about deferment has been taken in light of COVID-19 pandemic and floods in some parts of the country. The seven assembly constituencies are  Sibsagar in Assam, Thiruvottiyur and Gudiyattam in Tamil Nadu, Agar in Madhya Pradesh, Bulandshahr and Tundla in Uttar Pradesh and Chavara in Kerala. The Parliamentary Constituency where the bye-poll stands deferred till 7th September is Valmiki Nagar in Bihar. The poll body has said that the election at these constituencies will be conducted as soon as the conditions become conducive. Besides these eight seats,  bye-polls for 49 more assembly seats are to be held in the country for which the commission has clarified that the polls will be conducted as per the provisions of the law. Details regarding schedule of the elections will be discussed by the ECI. ECI has requested political parties to submit their views and suggestions about conducting assembly elections by the end of July 2020. Several guidelines have been issued by the Centre and state governments under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in the current situation of COVID-19 prescribing safety measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. Election Commission said some of the precautionary measures are compulsory wearing of face mask in public places, social distancing, restrictions on large public gatherings and congregations, thermal scanning at the place of gathering and sanitisation. ECI said, necessary guidelines will be finalized for the election campaign by candidates and political parties for the conduct of election during pandemic period based on the views and suggestions of political parties.

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