Aizawl: The opposition Congress and BJP in Mizoram have urged the state election commission to defer the upcoming village and local council polls due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Speaking to reporters at a press conference here on Monday, Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga said the state is in such a situation where community spread of coronavirus can take place at any time.

We are of the opinion that holding the elections at this time is not safe for the people and many voters will not turn up for polling, he said. Lallianchhunga said the party has asked the commission and state government to defer the upcoming polls by taking into account the concern over public health. The Congress also said that local council elections should not be conducted simultaneously with village council polls.

State BJP president Vanlalhmuaka said that holding elections amid the pandemic will lead to a disaster. He said the BJP will investigate the reasons behind the “hasty decision” of holding the polls at this time and submit its findings to the Union Home Ministry. Vanlalhmuaka also slammed the state government over the inclusion of Bru voters from Tripura in the electoral rolls.

He asked the state government to take measures to ensure that the names of Bru voters are deleted from the state electoral roll at the earliest. Earlier, main opposition ZPM hit out at the Zoramthanga government over the anouncement of the elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, state election commissioner Laima Chozah said that the upcoming polls will be held as per schedule on August 27 unless there is any further order.

On the issue of Bru voters, an election official said that their names will be removed from the state electoral rolls once they are enrolled in Tripura and the Election Commission of India intimate about the matter. The last date for filing nomination papers for village and local councils polls is Tuesday while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is August 13.

Counting of votes will be undertaken on August 27 as soon as the polling is over.

Source: PTI