Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) today postponed the by-elections to the vacant posts in 5 Zilla Parishads and 33 Panchayat Samitis in the state due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the rising threat due to the ‘highly infectious’ Delta Plus variant, and the impending third wave of COVID-19. The SEC issued a press release in this regard today.
The release said polling was to be held on 19th of this month for the by-elections in 70 constituencies in 5 Zilla Parishads of Dhule, Nandurbar, Akola, Washim and Nagpur and 130 constituencies in 33 Panchayat Samitis. However, on 7th of this month, the state government had requested the State Election Commission to postpone the by-elections against the backdrop of COVID-19.
In view of the Supreme Court order dated July 6, 2021, and the request of the State Government, the State Election Commission had sought more information from the State Government regarding COVID-19 and a detailed report from the District Collectors.
The release further said accordingly, the Commission has postponed the election to the stage it is today. It said, the code of conduct applicable for these by-elections has therefore also been relaxed from today. The release added that once the situation in COVID-19 improves, the State Election Commission will announce the completion of the remaining stages of the by-elections.