WARANGAL: At a time when Telangana is witnessing an exponential rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, as many as two municipal corporations and five municipalities will, as per the schedule announced around two weeks ago, go to polls on April 30 itself. It seems as if the authorities concerned have not learnt any lesson from the conduction of Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly bypoll, which resulted in Nalgonda district witnessing a week-onweek increase in cases by about 99 per cent.
Meanwhile, most political parties, their leaders and contestants are now worried that the situation might affect the polling percentage, which is likely to be anywhere between 30 and 35 per cent. As a result, the politicos are leaving no stone unturned to increase the polling percentage.It may be mentioned here that no political parties had followed pandemic protocols while organising public programmes as part of their campaigns for elections to all divisions under Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC), which will definitely take a toll on the district in the coming few days.
“Despite knowing the gravity of the situation, politicians organised mass public events, wherein people turned out in large numbers, and gathered without maintaining social distancing norms,” lamented M Santhosh, a citizen activist. “I have never missed my vote, since the day I turned 18. But, this time I have decided to give it a skip, in light of the massive spike in number of cases. I don’t want to risk the lives of me and my family members. It is ridiculous that the very same government, which wants the people not to step out their our homes, is now asking us to turn out in large numbers to exercise our franchise,” he added.
According to GWMC officials, there are a total of 6,53,240 voters in the GWMC limits, of which 3,29,964 are women, 3,23,100 are men and 176 others. The officials have already arranged 898 polling stations across 66 divisions. They are now focused on making arrangements to ensure that all voters who arrive to exercise their franchise follow Covid norms. The officials will also deploy one medical officer at each polling station to cater to the needs of the voters.