A day after the Allahabad High Court suggested deferring the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due to a possible Omicron-led third Covid wave, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra on Friday said an appropriate decision would be taken on the matter after his UP visit next week.
“The Election Commission will take a call on postponing the UP elections and banning all political rallies only after a review of the current situation,” the CEC told the media in Dehradun.
He further said, “I will be visiting UP next week. An appropriate decision will be taken after having reviewed the situation.”
Justice Shekhar Yadav of the HC had remarked, “If rallies are not stopped, results will be worse than the second wave.”
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh is headed for the President’s rule. Sources, though, say the election schedule may be announced around Makar Sankranti.
Soon after BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy hinted at postponement of elections, which are scheduled around February, he also apprehended that the President’s rule would be imposed in the state.
“Don’t be surprised if lockdown is imposed and the UP elections are postponed to September under the President’s rule. What could not be done directly earlier this year can be then done indirectly next year,” said the senior BJP leader.
The prediction came on the heels of the massive political showdown over reports of relatives of BJP leaders and government officials allegedly “usurping” land near the upcoming Ram Temple in Ayodhya. While the BJP has rubbished the allegations, the SP, Congress and AAP are demanding an SC-monitored probe. Observers say such allegations are bound to “dent the image of the saffron party”.