The Kerala government is strongly opposing the preponing of the upcoming Assembly elections from the previous schedule of May.
According to reports, the LDF government is likely to urge the Election Commission not to hold the Assembly elections on an earlier date citing the Covid-19 cases in the state. With Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sunil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar have arrived in Kerala, the state government will likely propose the election authorities on the matter.
On Saturday, Kerala reported 5,471 Covid-19 positive cases, 5,835 have recovered and 16 deaths. The state has collected 85,969 samples in the last 24 hours and the Test Positivity Rate has come down to 6.36%. Despite testing being increased, Kerala continues to witness over 5,000 cases daily.
Keeping this in mind, the state government feels that if the election is held earlier then Kerala could end up witnessing another spike in Covid-19 cases. Reportedly, the situation could worsen in Kerala if the EC holds elections before April. The new government must assume power by June 1.
However, there are several other reasons the state government would urge the EC to delay the elections. According to reports, it is alleged that the government wants to delay the election date so that it can inaugurate projects and implement welfare schemes before the elections. Meanwhile, the opposition (UDF and NDA) would prefer an early election as they are upbeat about their chance of winning the election considering.
The Election Commission officials are in the state to hold discussions regarding the arrangements for the upcoming elections. With a high number of Covid-19 cases in Kerala, the EC wants to make sure that no stone is left unturned. Reports suggest that the EC is likely to arrange for postal votes for the elderly, differently-abled and those infected with Covid-19. However, there are apprehensions that the postal votes could lead to widespread voter fraud. The EC would be wanting to make sure that the fraud doesn’t take place.