The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) is urging the Election Commission (EC) not to conduct the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections from April 1 to April 6.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, the KCBC said that important Christian holy days fall between April 1 and April 6. “The most important holy days of Christians – Maundy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2), Holy Saturday (April 3) and Easter (April 4). These should be excluded from the state election. Politicians and bureaucrats who are Christians may have to work on these days in connection with the election arrangements,” the letter said. KCBC has also urged the EC to exclude April 5 and 6 as they fall after Easter Sunday.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Election Commission said that the Malappuram Lok Sabha by-elections will take place along with the Kerala Assembly elections. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajeev Kumar conducted a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram to give updates regarding the upcoming polls.
“As many as 40,771 polling booths would be set up for the Assembly elections and voting will be conducted following Covid-19 norms. Covid positive patients and those in quarantine will able to vote in the last hour of the polling day. Postal votes facility will be extended to senior citizens,” Arora said during the press conference.
During their visit to Kerala, senior authorities of the Election Commission held a meeting with political parties, the Chief Secretary and the Police chief. The EC also held meetings with district collectors and Superintendents of Police (SPs) and Police Commissioners as part of reviewing preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections.
The CEC said that political parties put forward many suggestions which includes urging the EC to consider festivals when it comes to setting dates of Elections. “We always take local festivals into consideration and also exams,” Arora said. He continued, “One party raised the social media misuse and pointed out some media houses are presenting biased coverage. Another political party raised security concerns in North Kerala. Three Kerala districts – Palakkad, Wayanad and Malappuram – are vulnerable districts and more security would be provided,” he said. The EC is yet to decide the dates of the Kerala Assembly elections.