After threatening to boycott the counting of votes for the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Elections due to the COVID-19 crisis in the state, teachers' and employees’ associations in the state withdrew their decision on Saturday taking back their boycott call.
This development comes after the Supreme Court in a hearing on Friday rapped the UP Government saying that "heavens won't fall" if the results of UP Panchayat polls are deferred by 2-3 weeks. The SC had also asked the state government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to ensure that all counting is done with strict adherence to COVID protocols.
The boycott had been announced by the associations after several UP teachers fell prey to the virus and lost their lives after being deployed in the panchayat poll duty in the thick of the health crisis.
Allowing the counting of votes to commence on the scheduled date - May 2, the Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the UP government and the SEC on a plea seeking direction for observance of COVID protocols in the poll counting. “What measures will the State Election Commission take for counting," the bench asked adding that "heavens won't fall if the results of the UP Panchayat Elections is deferred for 2-3 weeks".
The results for the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Elections are scheduled for May 2 along with the assembly election results of five states. Polling for the final phase of the 4-part UP Panahcyat elections which commenced on April 15 ended on April 29. All phases had recorded over 70% voter turnout.
Uttar Pradesh recorded 30,317 fresh cases on Saturday which pushed the infection tally to 12,82,504. With 303 more COVID-19 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, the fatality count in the state reached 12,874 on Saturday.