Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai has written to the Chief Election Commissioner of India with a request to consider extending the scope of prioritization of vaccines to include the general public and eligible voters in all the states gearing up for elections in 2022.
Speaking to reporters, Sardesai said that following a unanimous resolution passed during a meeting of the party’s State Executive held yesterday, the party has asked the CEC for priority in vaccinations for all those in poll-bound states. In his letter, Vijai pointed out that “amidst the long-drawn COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country, Goa and the entire nation is reeling under the second wave which is bound to severely and negatively impact the capacities of the ECI to hold the upcoming assembly elections in those states.” Sardesai highlighted that the recently held assembly elections clearly showed how political rallies and other such gatherings failed to adhere to the prescribed COVID-19 control norms resulting in them being super-spreader events that threw the pandemic out of control.”
The GFP Chief urged the ECI to consider expanding its scope of prioritization of vaccines to include both doses of the vaccines. Sardesai said that states that are due for polls in 2022 should go into elections only if every eligible voter is double vaccinated. He stated that “the Goa Forward Party firmly believes that all Goans and Indians should be exercising their right to vote safeguarded by the vaccines and by COVID19 determined protocols.”
Sardesai pointed out that currently the union government as well as most state governments have already opened up the vaccination for all eligible adults over 18 years of age which is also the eligible voting age.
Vijai Sardesai said, “the reality of the pace of vaccination seems to be primarily dependent on the availability of the vaccine – which could again drastically impact the way elections are held.” In his letter, he added that the GFP hopes “that a prioritized vaccine drive, allocation of more doses for poll-bound states along with all other control protocols deemed appropriate by health experts and the ECI would significantly help reduce the risk the spread of coronavirus.