Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In the backdrop of the rapid spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to the new Omicron mutant, senior Congress leader and Bolangir MLA Narasingha Mishra on Friday urged the Odisha Election Commission to postpone the forthcoming Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State.

Though the dates for the crucial rural and urban body elections are still to be announced, they are expected to be held earlier this year.

“Life is certainly more important than elections. Odisha is witnessing a continuous surge in Covid-19 cases and the virus is gradually spreading its tentacle across the State. As per the scientists, virologists and doctors, the pandemic situation is going to be dangerous in the near future,” said Mishra.

“Considering the unprecedented pandemic situation, Congress demands the postponement of the upcoming Panhayat and Municipal elections in the State until the third wave is under control,” said Mishra adding that he will soon write to the Election Commissioner on the party’s stand.

Mishra also said that various tribal and Other Backward Class (OBC) forums are up in arms against the BJD-led State government for the withdrawal of reservations in the upcoming three-tier Panchayat elections in the State.

“BJD can’t impose its decision on the people amid the pandemic surge and political turmoil across the State. The demands of the protesting tribals and OBCs should be addressed before taking any decision regarding the conduct of the upcoming elections,” he said.