Central observer for Assam polls tests Covid positive

A central observer of the Election Commission of India (EC) for the first phase of the Assam Assembly polls has tested positive for the coronavirus, following which the poll panel appointed a new observer in his place, officials said on Wednesday.

Eastern Assam’s Jorhat district Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said that after the ECI’s general observer Manjeet Singh Brar tested Covid positive on Tuesday on his arrival in the district, the commission has appointed a new observer immediately.

“The new general observer coming from West Bengal, is expected to reach Jorhat at the earliest,” Korati told IANS over phone.

Earlier, Brar reached Dibrugarh airport on Monday from Punjab and then moved to Jorhat by road Tuesday.

“He is stable and under home isolation. Doctors are monitoring his health parameters and there is nothing to worry,” the DC said.

She said that as per the direction of the EC, all the officials coming from outside in Assam to supervise the Assembly elections have to undergo swab sample test for Covid-19 immediately after their reporting in the district.

The Assembly constituencies in Jorhat district are going to polls in the first phase on March 27.

Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly will be held in three phases.

Phase one will see polling for 47 constituencies on March 27 while in the second phase polling would be held for 39 seats on April 1 and the remaining 40 constituencies will go to the polls on April 6.

Till the last day of the filing of nominations on March 9, over 280 candidates filed the candidatures for the first phase of balloting.

The scrutiny of nomination papers for the first phase of polls done on Wednesday.

Several senior leaders including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam state Congress President Ripun Bora and Asom Gana Parishad President and state Minister Atul Bora are in the fray in the first phase.