Former chief election commissioner (CEC) of India, SY Quraishi, on Wednesday said that technology will play a limited role in the upcoming Bihar elections as the Internet reach in the state is just about 35 percent.
Addressing a webinar organised by Ahmedabad University on “Pandemic and Elections: Digital and Logistical challenges for elections during Covid-19,” Quraishi said, “In the context of Bihar (elections), technology will have its limitations as only 35 percent of people have access to internet.”
The former CEC said that during the pandemic, about 70 countries postponed their elections, while 35 held their elections. Citing examples of successful elections in Taiwan and South Korea, he said, “We were closely watching the Sri Lankan elections which were held last month. They were postponed initially but finally held successfully.” Quraishi said, adding that India, too, had initially postponed the Rajya Sabha elections due to Covid-19 outbreak, but later held them.
While most of Quraishi’s speech was inaudible due to poor internet connectivity, another speaker, Farhat Basir Khan, a professor of media and communications at Jamia Milia Islamia University, said that the pandemic has pushed election campaigning to digital platforms. Most of the Bihar elections will be run using social media, he opined.
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