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Opposition parties Congress and BJP in Mizoram have urged state election commission (SEC) to defer the upcoming village council and local council polls due to the surge in novel coronavirus cases in the state.

Congress spokesperson and media department chairman Lallianchhunga said that Mizoram is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases with more new cases being reported every day.

“We are of the opinion that holding elections in this time of COVID-19 spread is not safe for people as many voters will refuse to turn up for polling,” he said.

Lallianchhunga said that the party asked both the SEC and state government to review their decision and defer the upcoming local body polls by taking into account the rising case of COVID-19 and public health.

The congress also asked the SEC not to hold the local council polls simultaneously with village council polls.

State BJP president Vanlalhmuaka also asked the state government and SEC to reverse their decision of holding local body polls on August 27 amid COVID-19 spread.

He said that holding elections in such a pandemic period will only result in more disaster.

The last date for filing nomination papers for village and local councils polls was fixed on August 11 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature was fixed on 13 August.

Counting will be undertaken on August 27 as soon as polling is over.

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