July 30, 2020
Shri Sunil Arora,
Chief Election Commissioner,
Election Commission of India,
Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110001
Sub: Election Campaign and Public Meetings in the Situation of COVID-19 Pandemic – Seeking Views and Suggestion – Regarding.
Respected Sunil Arora ji,
On behalf of my Party, the Communist Party of India CPI, I have written to you on 6th July, 2020 raising two issues namely digital propaganda during election campaign and use of postal ballots by those voters who are 65-years-old and above.
I appreciate that the ECI has accepted our opposition to the issue related to ‘postal ballots’ to those who are 65 and above age.
My Party, CPI, is also signatory to the ‘Joint Memorandum’ submitted by nine political parties to EC on 17th July, 2020. I also took part in the virtual meeting convened by the ECI.
In response to your letter No 3/10/2020/ SDR/ Vol.1 dated 17th July, 2020, our Party has the following to state:
The ECI has the mandate of conducting free and fair elections. In the situation of COVID-19 and also the huge devastation caused by heavy rains and floods in several parts of the country, particularly in Bihar, ECI should ensure conducive situation for the safety of people’s lives and participation of the voters. There should be normal campaign, not the digital one. There should be level-playing field and equal opportunities for all the parties.
Our Party is also of the view that ECI should ensure conditions for elections to be held on the basis of physical participation of the voters and political parties. The campaigns including public meetings must be allowed by ensuring COVID-19 norms. The representatives of the political parties and candidates should be allowed to visit and interact with voters in small groups maintaining lockdown norms.
We look forward to ECI to give due consideration to the suggestions so that free and fair elections are being held in letter and spirit.