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West Bengal elections: EC flags ‘inadequate’ enforcement of Covid norms during campaigns

The EC also directed the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and its functionaries to implement and monitor Covid safety norms at election campaign events and take action if rules are flouted.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 25, 2021 5:58:41 am
West Bengal elections: EC flags ‘inadequate’ enforcement of Covid norms during campaignsUnion Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani during an election campaign road show in support of the party candidate for Assembly polls, in Malda, Thursday April 15, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday said the enforcement of Covid safety measures under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, had been “less than adequate” during the Assembly election campaign.

The observation was made at a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, and attended by Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and other senior state government officials such as the home secretary, health secretary, the secretary for disaster management, the state police chief, and the Kolkata police commissioner.

The EC advised the executive committee of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) to step up and perform its assigned statutory duty. The committee is chaired by the chief secretary, and is tasked with the enforcement of appropriate behaviour during the pandemic.

The EC also directed the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and its functionaries to implement and monitor Covid safety norms at election campaign events and take action if rules are flouted.

At the meeting, Bandyopadhyay assured the election commissioners that the state machinery had been directed to take stringent action against violators.

The health secretary said as per the EC’s directions, nodal health officers had been assigned for each Assembly constituency, with all 24 chief medical officers of health (CMOHs) acting as nodal health officers acting as nodal health officers in their district.

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