India / Those aged above 80, COVID-19 patients can vote by postal ballot: EC

Zoom News : Jan 08, 2022, 06:25 PM
New Delhi: While announcing the schedule for the upcoming polls slated to be held in five states in the coming months, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday stated that senior citizens above 80 years of age and persons with disabilities will be allowed to vote by the postal ballots. Keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind, the EC has also permitted COVID-infected patients to vote using the postal ballots. 

Putting an end to the anticipation of people and political leaders in the poll-bound states, the Election Commission had laid out all the guidelines that are to be followed during the conduct of elections in the five states- Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Goa. The Elections will be held for 403 assembly seats in UP, 117 in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand, 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa. 

As per the Election Commission, a total of 18.34 crore electors will take part in this election out of which 8.55 crore are women electors and 24.9 lakh first-time electors will be first-time voters.

Under the latest guidelines, the Election Commission has made it mandatory for political parties to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases selected as poll candidates. They will also have to give a reason for the selection of the candidate, ECI said.

Measures being taken by EC to mitigate COVID-19 spread

Given the COVID-19 upsurge in the country, the Election Commission has placed a ban on political parties to conduct public rallies, roadshows, vehicle rallies, and padayatra till January 15, 2022. The Election Commission has also declared that no victory processions will be allowed after announcement of results to celebrate the victory. The commission has also declared to avoid overcrowding at polling booths, and the polling time will be increased by an hour.

The Election Commission has also declared poll officials as frontline workers, who will be administered with precautionary doses of the Coronavirus vaccine. COVID-19 thermal screening and sanitisation will also be ensured at all poll booths. 

COVID-19 situation In India

India recorded 1,41,986 in a single day, bringing the total to 3,53,68,372, with 3,071 cases of the Omicron variant reported across 27 states and Union Territories thus far, according to the Union Health Ministry. According to data updated by the ministry, 1,203 people of the 3,071 cases of the Omicron variant have recovered. Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of Omicron variant cases at 876, followed by Delhi with 513, Karnataka with 333, Rajasthan at 291, Kerala at 284 and Gujarat at 204.

In the last 24 hours, 1,41,986 new COVID infections were reported in India, the highest number in over 222 days. According to the data, the number of active COVID cases has risen to 4,72,169, the highest level in roughly 187 days. The death toll has risen to 4,83,463, with 285 new deaths. According to the health ministry, the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 97.30 per cent.