Upcoming Maharashtra local body polls postponed amid coronavirus scare

The Maharashtra State Election Commission on Tuesday deferred the upcoming elections to local bodies in the state till further orders as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus.

State Election Commissioner UPS Madan said the government had requested that the elections be postponed in view of coronavirus infection.

The election commission also stayed the poll-related process.

"As per a Bombay High Court order dated August 10, 2005, the SEC has powers to postpone elections in view of natural calamity or a sudden situation. Accordingly, the SEC has stayed the process of ward delimitation, voter list (updation) and other activities related to elections from today (Tuesday) onwards," Madan said.

He said voting for 1570 gram panchayats was scheduled to be held on March 31. The nomination process was completed for this election.

He said the process of finalising voter lists for the elections to Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations and for by-elections to one seat each in Nashik, Dhule, Parbhani and Thane municipal corporations, is also stayed.

Madan said the process for delimitation of wards in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation, and municipal councils/nagar panchayats of Ambernath, Kulgaon-Badlapur, Wadi, Rajgurunagar, Bhadgaon, Varangaon, Kaij, Bhokar, and Movad has been stayed as well.

The process was also stayed for Bhandara and Gondia zilla parishads and in 15 panchayat samitis under their jurisdiction, besides in 12,000 gram panchayats.

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