Hyderabad: Former TRS MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, TJS chief Kodandaram, and eminent educationists and journalists wrote an open letter to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on 24 April requesting him to postpone the municipal polls in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stating that the number of coronavirus cases surged during the campaigning for Nagarjuna Sagar by-elections, they said conducting municipal polls now would be inhuman. They also alleged that the government's persistence to conduct the polls is indirectly accelerating the transmission of the virus.
"It is important to realize that throughout the country elections have been the reason for mass transmission of COVID-19. Given the scenario, going forth with the elections by risking the lives of thousands of people is unethical. Moreover, these elections do not directly impact the state's functioning, so there is no harm in postponing them for another six months or so," the letter read.
Faced with a rising number of cases and scarcity of resources required to treat patients like medicines, testing equipment, and vaccine, the state should declare a health emergency, they further added. The authors of the letter also alleged that Telangana had announced the municipal elections during the peak of the second wave of COVID-19.
"Keeping in view the severe health crisis we request the government to not forcefully conduct elections and increase the spread of the virus. In accordance with the protection of the right to life, guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, we request you to direct the State Election Commission to postpone the elections," the letter ended.
It was also signed by Dr. Chukka Ramaiah, Prof. P.L. Vishweshwar Rao, senior journalist Ramachandramurthy, Prof. Rama Melkote, and Siasat MD Zaheeruddin Ali Khan.