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Coronavirus: EC says decision on assembly polls after talks with govt

The Kuttanad seat in Alappuzha fell vacant following the death of Nationalist Congress Party MLA Thomas Chandy on December 20 last year

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

People wear masks outside an isolation ward set up to treat novel coronavirus patients at the Kochi Medical College on March 10, 2020. (Photo: PTI)
People wear masks outside an isolation ward set up to treat novel coronavirus patients at the Kochi Medical College on March 10, 2020. (Photo: PTI)

The Election Commission was closely monitoring the situation in Kerala and the bypolls to two assembly constituencies will be decided after consulting with the state government, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Tuesday.

The Kuttanad seat in Alappuzha fell vacant following the death of Nationalist Congress Party MLA Thomas Chandy on December 20 last year, while the death of CPI(M) MLA N Vijayan on March 8 at a private hospital in Kochi, necessitated the bypoll for Chavara segment.

"The bypoll at Kuttanad has to be completed before June 19. Election commission officials had visited the constituency and checked all the arrangements.

But now due to this extraordinary COVID-19 situation, the decision on the bypoll will be taken only after consulting with all the stakeholders including the state government," Meena told PTI.

He said the election commission was monitoring the situation in the country as by-elections are pending in various constituencies.

"If the situation is favourable, then elections will be conducted. But as of now, there is an unprecedented situation prevailing in the state.

The situation has totally changed across the country," he said.

He also said the election has to be conducted within six months from the date the seat became vacant but in extraordinary situations, the election commission can take a call.

The Kuttanad seat was won by the NCP, an ally of the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala, in the last two elections.

Pillai wrested the Chavara seat from Shibu John, the Congress-led UDF's candidate.

First Published: Tue, March 17 2020. 18:26 IST
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