The Election Commission of India (ECI) team on Tuesday met all the major political parties in Uttar Pradesh where many of them urged the ECI to not postpone or delay the 2022 Assembly elections in the State, amid concerns over the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The representatives of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) attended the meeting of the Election Commission in Yojna Bhawan.
After the meeting, BJP leader AK Sharma said, “We raised three demands. First, to prevent multiple voting by an individual, we demanded proper verification of burqa-clad women voters at polling stations and deployment of women constables at every booth for this. Besides, we have suggested that special arrangements for COVID protocol should be made at polling stations located in densely populated areas,” he said.
The BJP leader also suggested the ECI to ensure one polling booth for all members of a family.
Congress leader Onkar Singh claimed, “We told them that the state’s law and order situation is very bad and the police officials are under the pressure of the state government. They cannot conduct free and fair elections owing to the government’s pressure. The election should be conducted by central forces.”
COVID-19 rules should be the same for everyone whether it is the Prime Minister’s meeting or the leader of any other party. The election should take place. Because the government has not said anything till now. If the government says anything now, it implies that it is losing the polls and that’s why it is trying to delay it,” he added.
RLD leader Anil Dubey said, “We have urged to conduct elections on time. We have also suggested recounting 50 per cent of VVPAT slips. The anti-constitutional statements from ministers and leaders should be stopped.”
Naresh Uttam Patel SP leader demanded strict implementation of the model code of conduct.
“The ECI must provide a list of voters above 80 years and specially challenged to all parties. There are 40 lakh voters in the state who are above 80 years or are especially challenged. The list of critical booths should be provided to SP and other parties. We demanded strict implementation of the model code of conduct. We also demanded that the elections should be held in a free and fair manner.”
The SP leader further alleged that earlier his party through a letter had informed the state election commission and central election commission that in the voter’s list the name of the voter is written thrice and we have urged ECI to remove the repeated names but still the matter is pending.
BSP delegation handed over the party’s memorandum to ECI and demanded to hold elections on time.
The party also demanded strict implementation of the model code of conduct, while expressing concern over the organisation of election rallies and roadshows during the COVID period.
A delegation of the ECI led by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra also held a review meeting on Wednesday with the state’s senior officials in Lucknow to assess the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly poll preparedness.
The Election Commission delegation is on a three-day visit to poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
The Assembly elections in the state are scheduled for next year.
In the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 312 seats out of the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly while Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) won 19 and Congress could manage to win only seven seats. The rest of the seats were bagged by other candidates.