LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has said that it did not wish to conduct panchayat elections in the state in view of coronavirus pandemic but had to do so following the Allahabad high court's order which directed it to complete the poll process by May 10.
A government spokesman said, "The elections were due in December last year. The pandemic led to delay in reorganization and delimitation of panchayats. The writ petitions and subsequent decision of the high court compelled the state government to hold the election."
"In a writ petition filed by VinodUpadhyay against the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad high court in its order dated February 4, directed the State Election Commission to complete the election process for panchayats by April 30. In compliance, the state government initiated the process of reservation and allotment by March 15," the spokesman said.
The state government said the panchayat polls were being conducted in keeping with COVID-19 protocols issued by the State Election Commission.
The four-phase panchayat elections started on April 15 and counting of votes and declaration of result will take place on May 2. The spokesperson said the state government was committed to ensuring the safety of voters. For proper cleanliness, sanitization and prevention of infection in gram panchayats, special sanitation drive was undertaken in villages across 75 districts of the state. (IANS)