Covid vax drive begins in EC ahead of polls in 4 states, UT


Ahead of the Assembly polls in four states and one Union Territory in March end and April, the Election Commission on Thursday started a Covid-19 vaccination drive in the organisation to encourage officials on poll duty to do their work without any fear of the deadly pandemic.

Under the special vaccination drive, lakhs of polling officials across Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry — the states and the UT going to the polls between March 27 and April 29 — will take the vaccine shots before proceeding for election duty.

Former Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill took the first vaccine jab to mark the beginning of the vaccination drive.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar will get vaccinated after all the officials and staff at the Election Commission are benefited from the vaccination programme.

Arora recently announced that all staff on poll duty for the upcoming elections have been declared as “frontline workers” and therefore will be vaccinated before taking over their election duties.

He added that the vaccination would encourage the poll duty officers to perform their duty without any fear of the coronavirus. Over 1.11 crore people across the country have been infected by Covid-19 so far and 1,57,435 have lost their lives.

Arora had also said that the nationwide vaccination drive has made the situation more conducive for conducting elections.