Election 2021 Live Updates: Replying to TMC MP Derek O’Brien on his request to club remaining phases of West Bengal polls, the Election Commission on Wednesday stated, “Suggestion to club the phases 6, 7 and 8 is not feasible. EC has already mandated detailed guidelines to ensure that safety norms are adhered to without any exceptions.”
At an election rally in Dakshin Dinajpur district, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the aggressive second wave of coronavirus cases in India a “Modi-made disaster”. She further asserted that the state would be governed by a “Bengal engine government” and not by “Modi’s double-engine”. “The second COVID wave is more intense. I would say this is a Modi-made disaster. There are no injections or oxygen. Vaccines and medicines are being shipped abroad even as there is a scarcity of these items in the country,” she said.
The rapid second wave of coronavirus in the country has cast a shadow on the ongoing assembly polls in West Bengal with parties deciding to hold back campaigning. In an interview with ANI, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi condemned the BJP for holding election rallies despite the recent surge in Covid cases. “Even today they’re busy with campaigning. They’re laughing from the stages (at rallies). People are crying, screaming for help, seeking oxygen, beds, medicines, and you’re going to huge rallies and laughing! How can you?” Gandhi said.
Meanwhile, the TMC, which has been seeking a merger of the last three phases of assembly elections, sent a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab on Tuesday, urging him to consider the party’s request amid the steep hike in COVID-19 cases, PTI reported.