Congress MLA seeks to Defer byPolls in Manipur

COVID-19 positive cases have been surging rapidly in the State of Manipur, the Congress MLA opined that it would not be wrong to assume there is community transmission in the State.

Imphal, Sept 26-2020: Citing the incessant surge in COVID-19 positive cases in the State, Congress MLA Kh Joykisan has opined that it would be in the best interest of all to defer the imminent by-election to some vacant Assembly segments for sometime.

Speaking to media persons at his Khoyathong residence today, Joykisan said that the Government should convene a special session of the State to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic and the by-election, and adopt a decision to defer the by-election for sometime.

The collective voice of CSOs, Meira Paibis and student bodies can definitely put on hold the Election Commission’s preparation to conduct by-election in some vacant Assembly segments of the State, he asserted.

When the people of Manipur decide collectively to stay away from any election process in view of the ever worsening COVID-19 situation, the Election Commission of India would not conduct any by-election forcibly, he said.

Noting that the COVID-19 positive cases have been surging rapidly in the State, the Congress MLA opined that it would not be wrong to assume there is community transmission in the State.

He went on to ask if the Government would be able to do anything when there is extensive transmission of the virus due to exposure of tens of thousands of people to the virus by way of holding by-election in some Assembly segments.

Even though the election notification is yet to be issued, gathering of people has already started.

It would not be long before political parties launch hectic election campaigns.

In such a situation, it would be impossible for majority of the people to abide by social distancing norms and the COVID-19 SOP, Joykisan warned.

Categorically stating that it would be far more desirable to hold the by-elections only when the COVID-19 situation has improved, he pointed out that nothing can be more important than saving human lives.

He also urged the Government to first focus its attention on making COVID-19 test free.

Calling upon all the political parties and the public to appeal collectively to the ECI to defer the by-elections, the Congress MLA underscored the need to frame certain rules and regulations under which gathering of more than five people is prohibited, in case the ECI is determined to hold the by-elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mass election rallies as well as all kinds of feast should also be prohibited, he said.

He then exuded confidence that all these necessary restrictions can be enforced effectively if the CSOs, Meira Paibis and student bodies work collectively.