State plans Ordinance to conduct local body polls

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 15:19:38 

The State government has requested Governor Arif Muhammad Khan to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Kerala Panchayati Raj and the Municipalities Act to empower the COVID-19 afflicted population and those under quarantine to exercise their franchise via postal ballot in the elections to local bodies this year.

A Cabinet meeting on Wednesday recommended that the ordinance make legal provision for the State Election Commission (SEC) to extend the voting time by one hour to ensure that the contagion did not disenfranchise voters under treatment or in quarantine. The polling will start at 7 a.m. and conclude at 6 p.m.

The SEC had in August written to the State government recommending that the Act be suitably altered given the pandemic threat. It had sought an extension in polling time to prevent long lines and crowding in front of booths.

The Cabinet also requested the Governor to re-promulgate 23 ordinances. They included Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance and the Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board (Amendment) Ordinance.

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