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Will Coronavirus affect Bihar elections? EC says learning how South Korea held polls amid outbreak

The time period of the current Bihar Assembly ends in November.

The Election Commission has taken word of modifications made by South Korea in procedures whereas holding its parliamentary polls amid the coronavirus outbreak and mentioned it is going to take into account modifications as required and suited to the Indian context wherever elections have to be held in this sort of pandemic surroundings.

“Our people are studying the modifications made by South Korea in procedures while holding elections,” Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa advised PTI. The Election Commission, Lavasa identified, will think about the modifications which were necessitated the place polls have taken place, or might need to be performed “in this kind of pandemic environment”.

Responding to a query on how the ballot marketing campaign and conduct of elections will likely be affected if the coronavirus pandemic refuses to die down quickly, the election commissioner mentioned no matter measures are to be taken will likely be taken in session with the well being authorities of the nation and the stakeholders. He, nonetheless, added that a lot will rely upon how lengthy the current scenario continues.

“If this persists, some modifications of the existing procedures might be required,” he mentioned. However, he added that it was “too early” to say whether or not COVID19 would have a bearing on future Indian elections. “The Bihar Assembly polls are still some months away,” an EC functionary identified.

The time period of the current Bihar Assembly ends in November. In March, the ballot panel had deferred Rajya Sabha elections to 18 seats as a result of coronavirus outbreak. No recent dates have been introduced but. Former chief election commissioner O P Rawat was of the view that the virus wouldn’t have a bearing on future elections. He mentioned prior to now too, there had been outbreaks of virus however elections had been held with out making modifications within the system.
Nasim Zaidi, one other former chief election commissioner, urged that the ballot panel ought to arrange a process drive to “review” commonplace working procedures for holding elections.

“In the light of the disease and depending on how things unfold, stakeholders, including political parties, the EC and health officials will have to apply their mind on SOPs relating to precautions to be taken in each step of holding elections right from filing nominations to actual voting,” he mentioned.

The use of indelible ink by a single brush additionally must be thought of throughout such virus outbreaks, he identified. According to media reviews, voters in South Korea wore masks and disposable gloves and adopted social distancing norms.

After their temperature was taken, they had been allowed to forged their poll. “This can be done here too, if the need arises. A pencil-like object can be given a press button on the EVM to avoid direct contact. The object can then be disposed of,” Zaidi urged. Those in self-quarantine had been allowed to forged votes at polling stations after polling hours, one other report had mentioned.

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