March 15, 2020 5:48:55 am
The State Election Commission (SEC) may postpone the announcement of civic polls due to coronavirus, an SEC official said.
“As of now, it’s very difficult to announce poll dates due to the coronavirus outbreak. Once the poll schedule is released, the campaign will start immediately. But, in this situation, any type of campaign means gathering, which is very dangerous,” the official said.
He said if the situation does not improve in the next 15 days, polls may be not be held until May or early June. The state government is said to be opposed to elections during Ramzan, which will end in the third week of May.
Earlier, it was speculated that the civic polls would be held in mid April. After the Central government’s advisory on coronavirus, CM Mamata Banerjee had on Friday announced to suspend all sport activities and gathering. The government will review the decision on March 31.
Earlier, the SEC and state government were considering to hold the Kolkata and Howrah civic poll before the start of Ramzan (April 23).
State Election Commissioner Saurabh Das had already written letter to the state, seeking its suggestions for poll dates. The gap between the notification and poll date should be at least 25 days. However, to give parties more time to campaign, the gap extends to 40-45 days.
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