Thiruvananthapuram: An all-party meeting held here has reached a consensus to demand cancellation of by-elections for two vacant assembly seats, said chief miniser Pinarayi Vijayan today.
This demand will be placed before the Election Commission, Vijayan told pressmen while explaining the proceedings of the all-party meeting held on Friday. He also explained that the by-polls if held will effectively give only three months for the newly elected members to serve in the assembly; it is not worth the expenditure to be incurred and the possible disruption of officials who are heavily engaged in Covid prevention activities.
However he added that the local body elections cannot be put off indefinitely. Some adjustments can be made about the dates, in view of the spread of Covid, but it cannot be an indefinite postponement.
Both ruling and opposition parties are of the stand that when Covid spread is intensifying, holding elections in November is impossible. The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) had put a condition for cancellation of by-polls to Kuttanad and Chavara assembly constituencies that local body elections should be deferred too.
Both the constituencies will have exceeded the six months time limit for an assembly seat to remain vacant. Kuttanad seat became vacant with the death of former minister Thomas Chandy on 20 December 2019 and Chavara on 8 March 2020. Due to the unusual Covid situation, no steps have been taken for the by-elections so far.
On its part, the state's Election Commission, which takes the call on the dates of assembly elections had expressed the opinion that holding by-elections was a requirement and demand for a cancellation could be considered only if all parties were agreed on it, and not when only some parties asked for it.