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State election commission cites pandemic, defers Gandhinagar civic body polls

The SEC stated that because of the 8 pm to 6 am curfew within the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation limits, political parties and candidates will not be able to do widespread campaigning and they will not be able to campaign in micro-containment zones.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: April 11, 2021 1:26:00 am
GMC pollsOn March 19, the SEC announced the elections for the corporation on April 18. (AP Photo/Representational)

Citing the dangers and difficulties posed due to Covid-19 pandemic, the State Election Commission in Gujarat on Saturday postponed the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) elections that was scheduled to be held on April 18.

The polls have been suspended till further notice, an order issued by the SEC stated.

The SEC observed that the current situation in Gujarat is “more serious” than the situation that prevailed in the state during October 2020 when the Commission postponed local body elections by three months.

It said that the polls in GMC will “create hurdles” for the administration which is currently caught up in fighting Covid-19 and administering the vaccine. It said that the percentage of voting might also decline as voters will not come out to cast their vote due to the present Covid-19 situation.

The SEC also said that it has received several requests to postpone the polls. It cited letters and emails sent by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, state BJP president CR Paatil, GPCC president Amit Chavda, AAP, BSP among others. The SEC also cited an application made to Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court by Congress MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh in March 2020 where the MLA pointed to the rise in infections in Covid-19 infections in Gujarat and asked the court to defer the polls.

The SEC stated that because of the 8 pm to 6 am curfew within the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation limits, political parties and candidates will not be able to do widespread campaigning and they will not be able to campaign in micro-containment zones.

On March 19, the SEC announced the elections for the corporation on April 18. The last election of the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation was held in 2016 and the body will remain in power till May 5 this year.

On February 21 and 28, the SEC had conducted polls for six municipal corporations, 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats where 4.06 crore were eligible to cast their votes.

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