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Another candidate dies of Covid, Babul Supriyo tests positive again; daily load nears 16K

According to EC sources, 114 of show-cause notices have so far been issued and 76 FIRs lodged for non compliance of Covid guidelines.

Written by Sweety Kumari | Kolkata |
April 26, 2021 4:31:52 am
Election Commission, west bengal coronavirus cases, west bengal news, Babul Supriyo, Babul supriyo covid-19, india news, indian expressUnion Minister Babul Supriyo (File photo)

Another Assembly poll candidate, a fourth in the last one month, died of Covid-19, and Union minister Babul Supriyo tested positive for a second time on Sunday as the state logged record 15,889 new cases and 57 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The chief electoral officer’s (CEO) office on Sunday revoked permission for 359 political programmes after total 76 FIRs were registered against political parties and leaders for violating the Election Commission’s April 22 ban on gatherings exceeding 500 people.

TMC’s Khardaha candidate Kajal Sinha (59) was undergoing treatment at Beleghata ID and BG Hospital, and passed away at 9.45 am after being on ventilator for three days. Khardaha in North 24 Parganas district voted in the sixth phase on April 22.

“Very, very sad. Shocked. Kajal Sinha, our candidate from Khardaha, succumbed to Covid. He dedicated his life to serving people & just fought a tireless campaign. He was a long-serving, committed member of @AITCofficial. We will miss him. My condolences to his family & his admirers,” tweeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Condolence messages poured in from other party leaders.“It is difficult to believe that our Kajal Sinha is no more. The Trinamool family will forever miss his presence,” tweeted TMC leader Firhad Hakim.

Before Sinha, Revolutionary Socialist Party’s Jangipur candidate Pradip Nandy and Congress’s Shamshergunj candidate Rezaul Haque and TMC’s Murarai nominee Abdur Rahman had died of the virus. Polls Jangipur and Shamshergunj were deferred to May 16, results of which will be declared three days later.

Supriyo’s wife also tested positive for Covid-19. “Both me & my wife have tested positive. Me for the 2nd time!! V sad that I won’t be able to vote in Asansol. I needed to be there on the road too for the 26th polls where ‘desperate’ @AITCofficial goons have already unleashed their terror machinery to disrupt free & fair polls (sic),” Supriyo tweeted.

Sources at the CEO’s office said district election officers (DEOs) were instructed to strictly follow Covid norms and take appropriate action under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and IPC section 188.

According to EC sources, 114 of show-cause notices have so far been issued and 76 FIRs lodged for non compliance of Covid guidelines.

Covid guidelines in Hindi, English and Bengali will be pasted at every polling booth on Monday.

Meanwhile, West Bengal on Sunday registered its highest single-day spike of 15,889 Covid-19 cases pushing the tally to 7,43,950. The death toll rose to 10,941 with 57 more fatalities.

Of the fresh deaths, 18 were reported from Kolkata, 15 from North 24 Parganas and five from Howrah. The remaining deaths were registered in several other districts.

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