Elections in the time of Covid – Latest news from Jammu and Kashmir | Tourism

RK Sinha
The first elections after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic were held for the Legislative Assembly of Bihar during the months of November and December 2020. The Election Commission had welcomed the success of these elections. Subsequently, the country witnessed the electoral fiasco in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly which took place in 8 phases from March to April 2021.
Thus begins the country’s difficult battle against the second wave of Covid-19. Recently, the Electoral Commission also announced the schedule for Legislative Assembly elections in five states namely Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Uttarakhand. As a result of these elections, the country will receive around 690 new MPs and around 20 new Rajya Sabha members. This whole process of elections to the assembly will take place regularly over two months.
During this period, approximately 18.5 million voters will exercise their right to vote. All in all, this assembly election will be held on a large scale. Although there were fears that the electoral process would be postponed due to the ongoing and seemingly endless third wave of the pandemic, after conducting a thorough review of the situation, the Electoral Commission concluded that the elections would go ahead. discreetly. Anyway, postponing the elections is not so easy either. As soon as the code of conduct came into effect, the administration of the various boroughs intensified the work of removing posters and billboards down to the level of the assembly constituencies. Now, it will be a challenge for political parties to reach out to every voter during the Covid-19 transition.
In the Panchayat, Municipal Corporation and Vidhan Sabha elections, candidates went door to door. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to expect the same in these elections. As the global pandemic does not appear to be over, the approach and procedure for elections is subject to change. Elections should be conducted in such a way that the result of the pandemic on the public is negligible. However, the responsibility for ensuring that the elections are conducted safely does not rest solely with the Electoral Commission. For this, the leaders of the political parties, the volunteers, and all the workers will also have to remain vigilant.
Voters will also have to make sacrifices to vote for the consummation of Democracy Day. It is common knowledge that following the announcement of the electoral calendar, the model code of conduct also came into force. Amid the peak of fear and terror of the third wave of the pandemic, relief can be drawn from two facts. First, in states where elections are going to be held, the majority of voters have at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, although the pace of vaccination has been slow in Punjab. This was not the case in the elections in Bihar or West Bengal. Everyone knows that the only way to avoid getting infected with the virus is to get vaccinated in time. This, along with wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing norms, can help keep the virus at bay. The second thing is that in these elections, all political parties will have to reach out to their voters through the virtual approach. They will put more emphasis on virtual-only gatherings. In this way, all unnecessary gatherings can be avoided.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is powerful and active on various social media platforms. They have dozens of followers on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, with their numbers only indicating an upward trend. It also has a large network of WhatsApp groups. In such a situation, he can effectively organize meetings in virtual mode according to his needs. Other parties also understand the importance of social media. A budget of Rs.40 lakhs has been capped to contest the elections. In such a situation, the candidates of the different parties will have to work very carefully. Because in the age of technology, it is not a difficult task for the Election Commission to track every penny spent.
Although all political parties plan to steer clear of sullied leaders, every party needs a candidate. The Bharatiya Janata Party undertakes all possible efforts to conquer the other four states, including Uttar Pradesh. He also works hard for the accomplishment of his goal. Currently, it is getting a head start in the race against all other parties. The BJP snatched almost all the significant points from the hands of the opposition. Apart from the various party election announcements, on the whole, the BJP is making great strides in almost every area that touches life. Whether it’s solving regional problems, turning different castes or classes in their favor, or capitalizing on religious sentiments. All prominent party leaders are currently working on the ground.
The influence of the Samajwadi party is limited only to Uttar Pradesh. The Congress is fighting to retain the rank of fourth party in Uttar Pradesh. There is no more respectable place for him in such a unique state of the nation. However, the Gandhi family claims to be from Uttar Pradesh. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) visible in Punjab and Uttarakhand cannot be found in Uttar Pradesh. It is therefore quite obvious that India’s largest party, the BJP, will attempt to form its government in all five states.
However, various parties will pose obstacles and challenge it, especially Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and Congress and AAP in Uttarakhand and Punjab. During the upcoming parliamentary elections, the whole country will have to keep an eye on the situation in Punjab. There, conditions continue to be unfavorable. Anti-national elements operate openly under the cover of the peasant movement. There is a Congress-led government there, which is prone to collapse and in-party clashes. Anti-BJP forces are also active. The new director general of the Punjab Police and Election Commission will have to ensure fair elections in these areas. Punjab is one of the border states of the country and cannot be left unchecked.
Recently in Punjab, the convoy of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was stopped in its tracks as part of a conspiracy. The whole country witnessed it. It is the united desire of the nation that the voters reject these anti-national forces in the elections for the Punjab Assembly. India also hopes that the consequences of the Coronavirus will not come to the fore in the elections of these five states. Due to the widespread vaccination campaign against Covid-19, we hope that the country will celebrate its democratic day properly.
(The author is a former MP)

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