Thiruvananthapuram: The Health department director has agreed that local self government polls can be held according to COVID-19 protocol, said state election commissioner V. Bhaskaran on Monday. The election date will be announced later after considering the situation and holding talks, he added.
As the new administrative committees must take charge before November 12, the EC is moving ahead with preparations to conduct the election on time.
The Health department will prepare a detailed list of guidelines soon. The EC held discussions with Health department director Dr. R. L. Saritha and assistant director Dr. Bijoy. More talks will be held. The EC is preparing to conduct the election on time if the pandemic subsides.
COVID-19 prevention activities for election officers will be carried out by the EC with the help of the Health department. Awareness will be given to officials and political activists by the Health department.
Discussions will be held with representatives of political parties, chief secretary and DGP before the voting date is announced.
Meanwhile, the Nair Service Society (NSS) and another organisation have sent letters seeking to postpone the polls. However, political parties have not demanded postponement.
Conducting elections on time is a constitutional responsibility. But conducting the election according to coronavirus protocol will be expensive. The number of campaigners visiting households will need to be reduced to three. All other campaigns by political parties will have to be held virtually.
The training for election officers will commence this month. Master trainers will be trained online. Other officials will be trained directly in batches of 30 at the block level.