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SEC Postpones Rural By-Poll

The State Election Commission (SEC) has postponed Rural By-Poll due to Novel Corona Virus(COVID-19) Threat scheduled to be held on 24 March.

Aditya Prasad Padhi, State Election Commissioner held discussions with the senior officials and took ground report and implementation of COVID-19 Regulations by the State Government  into consideration, officials say.

SEC  in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 243K of the Constitution of India and with due consideration of the present gravity of the situation and the ground realities directs that the ensuing By-Elections process shall be postponed with immediate effect until further orders.

The Commission, Odisha issued Notification No 352, 367, 378 and 360/SEC all dated 05.02,2020 and Notification No.725/SEC dated 28.02.2020 to hold By- Elections to the offices of ZillaParishad Members, PanchayatSamiti Members, Sarpanches and Ward Members and the date of poll was fixed to 24.03.2020;

In the meantime, Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Odisha in Notification No.7662/H dated 13.3.2020 have issued a set of guidelines for prevention and containment of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19);

While implementing COVID-19 Regulations, several District Administrations have already imposed restrictions on public gatherings under Section 144 of IPC.

In fact the public gatherings in the meetings of the political parties as well as during dispersal of the polling parties and on the dates of poll and counting are part of the election process, which cannot be avoided;

In the menatime,  the State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh vide Notification dated 15.3.2020 have postponed elections to the local bodies in a similar situation;

So the Commission taking into consideration the emerging challenges posed by COVID-19 and is of the view that continuing with the election schedule may be detrimental and harmful to public health at large due to movement of large numbers of Polling Personnel as well as voters in the ensuing by-elections.

This Notification is available in Commission's website- www.secodisha.nic.in.
 


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