HYDERABAD: Not withstanding Telangana High Court’s critical comments on Thursday on conducting elections to seven urban local bodies (ULBs), the State Election Commission (SEC) decided to go ahead with the polls on Friday. The ULBs that are going to the polls are Warangal, Khammam Municipal Corporations, Siddipet, Jadcherla, Kothur, Achampet and Nakrekal municipalities.
The High Court expressed dissatisfaction over the SEC’s preoccupation with conducting the elections despite Covid-19 scourge playing havoc with the lives of people, but, after submitting a report to the HC on the measure it was going to take to prevent spike in the positive cases, the court asked it to ensure adherence to all Covid-19 protocols. The court also wanted all liquor shops to be shut as a precautionary measure.The High Court deplored the SEC for going ahead with the elections and asked it if it was necessary even at the cost of people’s the lives.
The SEC secretary, who attended the hearing, apprised the court that 2,557 police personnel and 7,695 employees were deployed on election duty.The court pointed out that at a time when the entire world was trying to rein in Covid-19, the focus of SEC officials was on elections and wondered if they were living on another planet.
As soon as the case came up for hearing, the court took a serious exception to the conduct of elections in the turbulent times of pandemic. The court wanted to know why the SEC cannot take a decision on its own without consulting the government and cornered the SEC why it had given the notification for elections in April when Covid-19 second wave was rising in February itself.