Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday present a clarification over the speculations about the remaining polling phases of the West Bengal assembly election.
This comes as mass gatherings at political rallies in the eight-phase West Bengal assembly election are stocking the fears of a rapid outbreak while the country deals with the second and more severe wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to ABP News, CM Mamata Banerjee said that her party Trinamool Congress will ask the poll body to conduct voting for the remaining phases in one go as scheduled polling will lead to more cases of Coronavirus in the state.
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Fearing the potential Covid spread that can occur at mass gatherings during political rallies, it was being speculated that the ECI may reduce the remaining poll phases and club them into one.
However, ECI has made it clear that they do not intend to do so. News Agency ANI quoted it as saying that there is “no such plan of clubbing phases”.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Office (CEO) West Bengal has called for an all-party meeting asking all political parties to strict compliance of Coronavirus guidelines mandated by the poll body.
Recently, the election rallies in states undergoing assembly elections have been attended by hundreds and thousands of locals who can be seen without any semblance of social distancing or any other Covid protocol such a proper mask-wearing.
Amid the second wave of Coronavirus spread in the country, one of the reasons debated to have contributed to the current situation is this very election fervour.
Meanwhile, India reported its biggest surge with 2,00,739 new Covid-19 cases. According to Union Health Ministry’s data, along with more than 2 lakh fresh infections, there were 93,528 discharges and 1,038 deaths in the last 24 hours.
With this India’s total cases are 1,40,74,564, total recoveries are 1,24,29,564 along with 14,71,877 Active cases.
Amid the fresh Covid scare, will political campaigning in West Bengal include compliance with preventive measures? Remains to be seen.