Health dept recommends postponement of local body elections

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: An all-party meeting of political parties was conducted by the State Election Commission (SEC) here on Wednesday to discuss urgent issues related to ensuing Panchayati Raj and urban local body elections of 2020 in the context of pandemic Covid-19 and various precautionary measures taken by the state government, wherein the health department recommended postponing the elections.
Representing the health department, State Epidemiologist Dr Lobsang Jampa, highlighted the current status of Covid-19 in Arunachal Pradesh in particular and the country as a whole through a PowerPoint presentation.
Representatives of the BJP, INC, JDU and state government present in the meeting unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the health department for postponement of the local body elections till the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
State Election Commissioner Hage Kojeen highlighted the urgency of holding local body election as early as possible in view of constitutional mandate and court direction. However, he stated that the commission will make proper assessment of the pandemic situation considering the views of different stakeholders, such as political parties, the state government, etc and take an appropriate decision.
Earlier, State Election Commission Secretary Nyali Ete requested all to extend their considered views and suggestions on the issue.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary (PR) Govind Jaiswal, Secretary (UD) Dr Sonal Swaroop and Director (ULB) S Singh.
Meanwhile, the state election commissioner also took a review meeting on Wednesday with officials of the district administration and the police of Itanagar-Capital Complex and Papum Pare district in connection with the preparedness for the ensuing elections to the Panchayati Raj Institution and the Municipal Council of Itanagar.
Speaking on the occasion, the commissioner urged upon the district authorities to gear up the election machineries and all other arrangements, such as polling stations, counting centres, EVMs for municipal election and ballot boxes for panchayat election, appointment of ROs/ AROs, training programme for election official and adequate security deployment to ensure free, fair and peaceful local body elections.
He further said that election observers will be appointed for each district to oversee proper enforcement of the model code of conduct for political parties, candidates and officials.
The meeting was attended by State Election Commission Secretary Nyali Ete, DC Capital K Dulom, DC Yupia P Ligu, SP Capital Tumme Amo, SP Yupia Jimmy Chiram, EAC (Election) Capital Dakli Gara and other officials. (DIPRO)