A united Opposition today urged the Election Commission to ensure a fair election guaranteeing a “level playing field” to all contestants and political parties amid the ruling NDA being accused of using all its resources to reach out to the voters and workers by holding virtual rallies.

The opposition also asked the poll body to take into account their concern about the people’s health so that the entire poll exercise does not become a “super spreader event” amid surging Covid-19 cases already threatening people’s lives.

The opposition parties expressed their concern in a joint memorandum to the Election Commission sent today.

The two-page memorandum was signed by the representatives of all prominent opposition parties, such as the RJD, Congress, CPI-ML, CPIM, CPI, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Vikakssheel Insan Party (VIP) and the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).

The Opposition said the people of Bihar are eagerly waiting for the elections to get rid of a government “formed against the mandate” as well as for dismal failure on all fronts and particularly as exposed during the crisis caused by the pandemic. “However, there are questions in peoples’ minds.

How does the Election Commission plan to ensure physical distancing of at least two yards as recommended by the WHO and ICMR, repeatedly advocated by the Prime Minister himself…People expect the commission to ensure and satisfy the people that the entire poll exercise does not become a super spreader event,” the memorandum said. The state has a population of around 13 crore with 7.5 crore voters.

They said the Indian electoral system derives its strength and legitimacy through the institutional mechanisms of the election commission to provide a level playing field for political parties and candidates.

“It is the Constitutional mandate of the Election Commission to ensure a free and fair election guaranteeing a level playing field to all contestants and political parties. It is in this context that we urge upon your esteemed office to take a proactive approach to priorities the health and well-being of the people of Bihar as well as of the spirit of democracy and evolve a mechanism which protects the health of the democracy as well as the health of the people,” they said.