Coronavirus Pandemic: Maharashtra State Election commission postpones local body elections

The MSEC has taken the decision to defer the upcoming local body elections as a precautionary measure to stop the spreading of coronavirus or COVID-19. The state election commission has also stayed the poll-related process.

Coronavirus Pandemic: Maharashtra State Election commission postpones local body elections
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Maharashtra State Election Commission (MSEC) on Tuesday postpone all the upcoming local bodies elections including the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) polls. This comes amid the coronavirus scare in the state. 

The MSEC has taken the decision to defer the upcoming local body elections as a precautionary measure to stop the spreading of coronavirus or COVID-19. The state election commission has also stayed the poll-related process. 

State Election Commissioner UPS Madan informed that the Maharashtra government had requested that the elections should be postponed in view of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Along with the NMMC polls which were scheduled to happen in April this year, voting for 1570 gram panchayats was to happen on March 31. The nomination process was also completed for the election. However, with the order of MSEC, the local body polls have been delayed. 

“The SEC has stayed the process of ward delimitation, voter list - updation and other election-related activities from today onwards,” Madan was quoted in the media reports. 

The State Election Commission has the power to postpone elections in case of natural calamity or a sudden situation. This order was given by Bombay High Court on August 10, 2005. 

Madan also informed that the process of finalising voter lists for the Aurangabad and NMMC elections has stayed. Along with this, the process has stayed for the by-elections of one seat each in Nashik, Dhule, Parbhani and Thane Municipal Corporation. 

The Maharashtra government had made it mandatory for the private offices in Mumbai to manage their operations with less than 50 per cent attendance while allowing the rest to work from home. 

Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India with 39 cases which have been tested positive for coronavirus or COVID-19. In Mumbai, six cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Meanwhile, one 64-year-old who was tested positive for the coronavirus has died. 

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