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TIMES NOW suspends its election results coverage on 2 May

The channel announced that it will prioritize Covid-related news.

MUMBAI: In an unprecedented move, English news channel Times Now on Saturday announced that it will suspend its coverage of Assembly elections results for four States and one union territory on 2 May, citing “the biggest health emergency” that the country is facing.

The Times Group-owned channel said that it will track the “biggest national story”- keep COVID news as its main priority and suspend its usual special election coverage ‘on 2 May and beyond.’ 

“As part of the coverage, viewers can expect COVID-related news reports, the latest on the status of the vaccination drive, information on helplines, and can interact with healthcare and mental wellness experts on the channel,” it stated in a social media post. However, it will still carry flash news updates on the counting and results, but refrain from covering poll-related celebrations.

“The second wave would have been better controlled had we avoided two of the mega risk events – Kumbh Mela and elections in five states in normal campaigning mode. But, as the wave keeps climbing, with it claiming more innocent lives, it is clear that there has been a serious lapse in leadership at all levels- across the political spectrum,” the channel averred expressing concerns over the deteriorating situation and said that it has been vocal against these lapses.

After the final phase of polling for West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, and Puducherry assembly elections got over, all eyes are now set on 2 May when the counting of votes will take place for the four states and one UT. As many as 822 seats out of 824 scheduled for election went to poll between March 27 and April 29.

However, the results have been overshadowed by the massive surge in Covid2019 cases and the resultant oxygen shortage at hospitals which has put the lives of millions of Indians at risk. The country is facing one of the biggest health crises, as daily cases crossed an unprecedented 4 lakh on Saturday. As many as 3,523 more people succumbed to the infections during the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 2.11 lakh.

A staggering 69 lakh new infections were detected in the country during April when campaigning for the Assembly elections was on in several states. This was the highest tally for any month in any country so far- another dismal global record, raising a question mark on conducting regular elections during the crisis.

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