Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal, a Bihar resident, filed a petition in the Hon’ble Supreme Court seeking directions to abstain from conducting the upcoming elections in Bihar till the state becomes free from both – COVID-19 pandemic and the floods.
On 11 August 2020, the Chief Election Commissioner of India announced that the upcoming elections in Bihar are going to be held as per the schedule, without taking consideration of the fact that Bihar is facing both the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the floods.
He submitted before the Hon’ble Court that by deciding on conducting elections during the pandemic, the Election Commission of India has completely ignored the population of the state, which is above 9.9 crores. He said that it would be worse for the elderly voters as due to lack of immunity they are more prone to catch COVID-19. He further submitted that other options such as postal voting, proxy voting, mobile ballot boxes under a well-established legal framework could not be possibly implemented in such a short period.
The petitioner further in his argument threw light on the fact that Bihar has more than 1 lakh COVID-19 cases till date and if the elections are held under such challenging circumstances then it would only worsen the virus further.
The petitioner has thus prayed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the state government should focus that proper housing facilities should be provided to the people instead of focusing on the upcoming elections.