Bihar Elections 2020: In a letter to the Election Commission BJP-JDU ally Chirag Paswan has requested for postponement of Bihar polls in October-November due to the worsening situation in the state amid Covid-19 pandemic.
Paswan said in his letter that holding elections in the coming months will otherwise amount to deliberately “pushing people towards death”.
“Holding assembly polls in Bihar – hit by the coronavirus pandemic – could endanger voters and politicians alike as they could contract the deadly infection while campaigning or casting votes through shared electronic voting machines,” said Paswan
Holding elections will endanger lives
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a formidable form. Experts believe by October-November, its effect in Bihar will be worse. At this time, our priority should be to save people’s lives, not to conduct elections…A big chunk of Bihar is hit by floods. Conducting elections as per the ICMR’s guidelines will be extremely difficult,” the Lok Janshakti Party leader wrote.
The LJP’s stand on the elections is opposite to that of the JD(U), which also is a BJP ally, as the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led party has spoken in favour of holding them on time and has been holding organisational meetings in preparation.
Paswan also raised questions on how voting will be carried out safely amid the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Those already positive will not get a chance to exercise their right.
“Bihar’s population is 13 crore out of which 8 crore are voters. It will be impossible to make them vote while maintaining social distancing…how will those infected caste votes? What about containment zones where the movement of people is banned?” he said.
“Currently providing relief to COVID-19 patients and people hit by floods should be the top priority. Those affected by floods must be rehabilitated and our health services should be improved. The state’s resources must be spent on improving lives of the people of Bihar…” he added.
Opposition Party RJD has also demanded cancellation of Bihar Polls
“They are only worried about their seat. The BJP is doing their virtual rallies, the Chief Minister is doing his virtual rallies. But they are not standing with the poor people of Bihar. The poor are dying. There is devastation everywhere. But they are only worried about their kursi. They are preparing for the election,” RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly, had said earlier this month.