Twelve COVID-19 positive voters identified amid MCD by-polls
(Sourced from PTI)
Twelve COVID-19 positive people were identified from two municipal wards in Delhi as eligible voters for the civic by-polls held on Sunday, but none of them cast their ballots, the State Election Commission officials said. The Sunday by-polls to the five wards, the first electoral exercise that was conducted in the national capital amid the coronavirus pandemic, saw an overall turnout of 50.86 percent.
The officials from Election Commission had earlier said that COVID-19 patients could vote during the last hour of polling as per the government guidelines. "The scheduled duration of the polling was from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. So, COVID-19-positive patients could come and vote from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm," a senior official from the State Election Commission had said.
The official said, "Twelve COVID-19 positive persons were identified from two wards, 10 from Shalimar Bagh North in NDMC area and two from Kalyanpuri ward in EDMC. However, none of them came to cast their votes." "As voting is a fundamental right, the Election Commission has made this provision," the official added.
According to the State Election Commission, around 2.42 lakh people were eligible to cast their votes in two wards under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and three wards under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
The main contenders are the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the BJP, and the Congress. All of them have expressed confidence that they will emerge victorious in the by-polls, being held under strict COVID-19 protocols. The by-polls are being seen as the semifinal before the elections to all 272 MCD wards in early 2022. Results for the by-polls will be announced on March 3.
The official said that there were 327 polling stations and 26 candidates in the fray. On Sunday, the exercise was conducted in compliance with strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. "Thermal guns were used to measure the temperature of all voters, and masks and sanitizer bottles were provided at polling stations," another official said.