ECI seeks coronavirus report from states ahead of deciding on elections

The elections for 243 seats in Bihar are probably scheduled for November.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked for a detailed report from the election officials of the states where assembly elections or by-elections are to be held in the coming time. 

The Election Commission has asked for the report to review the situation in the states, an Election Commission official told IANS.

The ECI has written a letter to the State Election Commissioners of states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat asking the condition of the states and how elections can be conducted amidst the challenge of coronavirus. The report has been summoned with suggestions related to social distancing at the booths.

An Election Commission official told IANS, "The election officers of the respective states have been asked to submit a report on the situation of the state. The Election Commission will decide about the elections in the state after studying the report. However, there are still a few months remaining in the by-elections till then the situation might get better but the Commission is pro-active on the issue."

"The commission will decide on the election schedule after discussing with the Central health ministry and health departments of the concerned states. All the guidelines of the Central and state governments will be followed while conducting the elections."

The elections for 243 seats in Bihar are probably scheduled for November but before that, the by-elections in the vacant assembly seats in Bihar and Gujarat are also to be held. 22 Congress MLAs resigned in Marcy in Madhya Pradesh while two MLAs have passed away.

Similarly, eight seats are vacant in Gujarat after the Congress MLAs resigned just before the Rajya Sabha elections. It is necessary to hold the elections within six months. In such a situation, by-elections in both the states have to be conducted by September but due to the coronavirus outbreak there are speculations that whether the ECI will conduct the elections on time or it will extend the dates.

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