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UP Elections 2022: All parties are in favour of conducting polls on time under COVID protocols

This comes amid mounting calls for the state's elections to be postponed due to a sharp increase of Omicron cases across the country

UP Elections 2022: All parties are in favour of conducting polls on time under COVID protocols
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On Thursday, the Election Commission stated that all political parties in Uttar Pradesh support holding the assembly elections on time and in accordance with all COVID-19 rules. This comes amid mounting calls for the state's elections to be postponed due to a dramatic increase of Omicron cases across the country.

"Representatives of all political parties met us and told us that elections should be conducted on time following all COVID19 protocols," Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said while addressing a press conference in Lucknow.

"All parties have raised the issue of rallies being held in violation of Covid protocols and asked for restrictions to be put in place. We have taken cognisance of all points raised by the political parties and we will conduct an inclusive election in which no voter will be left behind," he added.

He further stated that on January 5, 2022, the final list of eligible voters will be issued. The polling time for the state's assembly elections has been extended by an hour, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Chandra further stated that the Election Commission will come to the homes of elderly individuals above the age of 80, persons with impairments, and people infected with COVID-19 who are unable to vote at polling booths.

"VVPATs to be installed at all voting booths. Live webcasting facilities will be available at around 1 lakh voting booths to ensure transparency in election process," he said.

An Election Commission delegation met with district and division level officials in Lucknow on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit to Uttar Pradesh to examine preparations for the state assembly elections next year.

In light of the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, the Allahabad High Court last week asked the Election Commission and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider delaying the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, which are scheduled for February-March next year, by a month or two.

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