Fri, 07 May 2021

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 15 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday opposed the Election Commission's decision and urged it to conduct the remaining phases of the ongoing Assembly elections in a single phase in the view of surge in COVID-19 cases.

Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said that holding the remaining phases will protect the people from further exposure to COVID-19.

"Amid an ongoing pandemic, we firmly opposed @ECISVEEP's decision to conduct WB polls in 8 phases. Now, in view of the huge surge in COVID19 cases, I urge the ECI to consider holding the remaining phases in ONE go. This will protect the people from further exposure to COVID19," she tweeted.

Earlier today, the EC clarified that there are no plans to club the remaining phases of the West Bengal Assembly elections amid speculations in light of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.

Meanwhile, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) West Bengal called for an all-party meeting asking all political parties to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

"A meeting has been called by CEO West Bengal to ask all political parties to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines mandated by the Election Commission for strict compliance," an EC official said.

Earlier last week, the Election Commission had written to all national and state parties asking them to follow all COVID-related guidelines during public meetings, rallies and other activities. The Commission also took a 'serious view of the laxity in maintaining norms, particularly not wearing masks by political leaders on stage.'The high-decibel campaigning for the fifth phase polls concluded at 6 pm on Wednesday as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic continued to rage on. This phase of polling will be held on Saturday, with 319 candidates contesting for 45 constituencies across six districts - Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman.

India on Thursday reported its highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 with over 2 lakh cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.

With 2,00,739 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the country's total number of cases now stands at 1,40,74,564, including 14,71,877 active cases. (ANI)

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