On the 14th of March, the CM of Goa along with the Goa’s Health Minister issued the order for the closure of all schools, colleges, Spa, Salon, Gymnasiums and Casinos in the state of Goa till 31st March for the safety of the people of Goa from Coronavirus, but did he followed the instruction himself? The social media and local news channels in Goa were busy flashing the news of CM’s busy schedule attending the party meetings and birthday parties of Karyakartas (Party Workers) with hundreds of people gatherings. Why CM of Goa risking the lives of innocent people for the sake of party promotion?
The instructions were very clear and in the words of Health Minister of Goa it was invoking of the provisions of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 which orders the people to remain in quarantine away from public meetings and social gatherings, but the CM of Goa along with all the aspiring candidates of Zilla Parishad election were busy in attending the meetings to promote the BJP candidates, isn’t it the sad state of an affair?
According to the report, at least 9,500 staff were to be deployed at 1,210 polling booths in the state to handle the ZP elections. The arrangements were also made for over eight lakh voters to pick their candidate through ballot paper. Polling staff, who generally interact with hundreds of voters, had been asking their returning officers and Mamlatdars about the provision of hand sanitizer and face masks, can you imagine?
The report further states that Staff at each polling booth which includes five inside and two police personnel outside said that the elections posed a high risk of the virus spreading as they would have to physically check ID proofs provided by each voter, hand them a pen to sign their names, ink their index fingers and hand them ballot paper to vote.
The staff were requesting the authorities to postpone the elections for the safety of their kins. “We asked the authorities to postpone the election not just for us, but for the voters too. I’m young and fit, but what happens when I go home to my old mother and children? I’m putting everybody at risk,” a government employee on polling duty had told TOI.
Despite invoking the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 that is applicable in the state till 31st of March the elections were postponed to 24th March by CM and that too after the video conferencing with PM on his appeal to remain inside on 22nd March.
Those on polling duty had approached the collector even on Friday, a day after chief minister Pramod Sawant had announced that the ZP elections were postponed to March 24 seeking the calling off polling entirely, stating that the next two weeks were crucial for India as it was on the verge of entering Stage 3 of the pandemic declared by WHO. They had raised concerns that voters in different parts of the nation and even overseas would cast their vote and could act as vectors because the virus is transmitted through touch.
The rules are themselves breaking the rules and there is no one to question them as the opposition is completely finished in the state and the voice raised by the vigilant people have been suppressed by sending them into the jail. Do we really need such kind of administration in Goa? it’s time to think twice!!