State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has stuck to his schedule to conduct the local body elections in February. His lawyer filed a counter in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, stating that the State Government’s arguments on Coronavirus vaccination had no strength. It was because it would take not less than three to six months before the vaccine would be available for the people. The clinical trials were still continuing.
The SEC lawyer told the court that the AP Government had also not finalised any dates for vaccination since there was no certainty on the vaccine availability and supply. Moreover, the medical and health department staff or officials would not be used in the local body elections.
As such, the uncertain vaccine program would not be a hurdle for the local polls. Moreover, the Government had no right to approach the court on such pretexts.
The SEC told the court that nothing would come as a hurdle for polls going by the manner in which the elections were conducted in Bihar, Rajasthan and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The SEC argued that the Government of India has not yet given any direction for vaccination programs anywhere in the country. A national level policy is yet to be finalised on vaccines. Hence, the AP Government cannot cite vaccination as a reason to postpone the polls.