Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which was all set to go for polls sometime in mid-April, has been halted by the outbreak of coronavirus. The nationwide toll of people infected with the virus has reached 110 as per the Health Ministry, following which multiple state governments including the Bengal one has decided to shut schools, colleges, and universities till April 15.
A meeting with all stakeholders was called by the State Election Commission on Monday and all the stakeholders have shown unity in stating that human security is way more important at this hour of crisis.
"We are postponing this election due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. After 15 days, we will do a review meeting and on that day we will decide what can be done. The election has been delayed due to COVID-19," said Saurav Das, Chief Election Commissioner on Monday after an all-party meet. The State Election Commission, however, stated that it was ready to poll in the scheduled time frame but the outbreak caused a delay
The Commissioner was quick to appreciate the unanimous support by all political parties on their decision of delaying the polls in the hour of the human crisis. A day back, the Trinamool Congress issued a press statement asking for political support and unity across all lines to appeal to the Election Commission to delay the polls, which it got from its fiercest opponents like the BJP and Left-Congress.
"Elections will come and go but politics must take a back seat when society is faced with such a threat. TMC will appeal to the State Election Commission of West Bengal to defer the upcoming municipal/corporation elections in light of the COVID-19 crisis. We urge all political parties to join hands and fight this together," the ruling party statement read which even found support from BJP Bengal Chief Dilip Ghosh.
Ghosh while leaving for Delhi on Monday stated, "State Government will decide about the ground reality in the state. What is the point of having an election where people can't come out and vote? Whatever the State Election Commission decides on this, we will support it."