BREAKING: ‘Accelerate vaccination’: ECI writes to poll-bound states amid COVID spike

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NEW DELHI: Amid grave concerns over the return of COVID-19 in the country, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has written a letter to the five poll-bound states to accelerate the ongoing vaccination drive to tackle the pandemic.

According to reports, the apex poll body has written to the chief secretaries of 5 poll-bound states asking them to ‘accelerate’ COVID vaccination. The poll body also expressed its concerns over the low percentage of the first dose of inoculation in Manipur, the sources said.

In view of the rising COVID-19 cases and the upcoming Assembly elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra had on Thursday stated that representatives of all political parties, who met him during his visit to Lucknow, have said that the Assembly elections should be conducted on time following all Covid-19 protocols.

The Chief Election Commissioner’s statement came as a clear indication that there will be no postponement of the elections in the poll-bound states.

The Election Commission of India had on Monday met Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and discussed the rising number of COVID-19 cases along with vaccination status in the five poll-bound states.

As per sources, the Election Commission and Health Ministry will also hold another meeting in the month of January. Assembly elections are slated to be held in five states including Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Punjab next year.

Earlier, amid the Omicron scare, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday had requested the Election Commission of India to immediately postpone the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh for 1-2 months.

The court also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ECI to immediately ban rallies and public meetings of political parties in the state.

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