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Elections 2021 Live Updates: Clubbing together three phases of polls not possible, EC replies to TMC MP Derek O’Brien

Election Live Updates: 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".

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata, New Delhi |
Updated: April 21, 2021 9:40:28 pm
West Bengal assembly elections 2021, Mamata Banerjee, Amit Shah, Gorkha land, darjeeling, covid 29, Bengal Covid cases, bengal elections live updates, bengal 5th phase live updates, indian expressAmit Shah, Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi. (File Photo)

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.

Live Blog

Election 2021 LIVE updates: Clubbing together three phases of polls not possible, says EC; BJP cuts back Bengal rallies; Mamata's rallies to be under 30 minutes. Follow this space to track the latest news and developments

21:39 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Bengal BJP candidate Shilbhadra Dutt claims he was attacked, bomb thrown at his car in Khardaha

BJP candidate from Khardaha Assembly constituency, Shilbhadra Dutt, says his car was attacked on Kalyani Expressway today. “We were at a tea stall when a bomb was hurled at my car. Trinamool Congress is behind the attack. We'll complain to EC,” he adds. (ANI)

20:40 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Election to be held in 43 seats during sixth phase of Bengal polls, all eyes on Matua strongholds of Bongaon, Krishnanagar

The sixth phase of polls will be held in West Bengal on Thursday, with voting set to be conducted at 14,480 polling stations in 43 Assembly constituencies across parts of North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Uttar Dinajpur and Purba Bardhaman.

Among the 306 candidates whose political fate will be decided during this phase are heavyweights such as Bharatiya Janata Party’s national vice-president Mukul Roy, Trinamool Congress ministers Jyotipriyo Mallick and Chandrima Bhattacharya, and CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya. Also among the prominent names are film director Raj Chakraborty and actor Koushani Mukherjee, who are TMC’s candidates from the Barrackpore and the Krishnanagar North constituencies respectively. Read more

20:09 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury tests positive for Covid, says will campaign virtually

West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tests positive for Covid, says will campaign virtually.

20:05 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Congress names Rokia Khatun as the party candidate for the Samserganj constituency

Congress has named Rokia Khatun as the party candidate for the Samserganj constituency. Election to the Samserganj seat was adjourned following the death of a party candidate and will be on May 13. (ANI)

19:41 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Clubbing three phases of polls together not possible, EC replies to TMC MP Derek O’Brien

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.” (ANI)

18:39 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Polling parties collect EVMs from distribution centres

Polling parties collect EVMs from a distribution centre in Barrackpore, North 24 Paraganas ahead of the sixth phase of West Bengal Assembly elections tomorrow.

18:37 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Hopes of entire nation in hands of voters of West Bengal: P Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday held the BJP responsible for the “medical catastrophe” in the country and urged the people of West Bengal to speak for the entire nation while voting in the ongoing assembly polls.

The sixth phase of the assembly election in the state will be held on Thursday.

“An election is to hold the government accountable. The BJP is solely responsible for the medical catastrophe that has fallen on the country. The hopes of the entire nation are in the hands of the voters of W(est) Bengal,” Chidambaram tweeted. (PTI) Read more

17:10 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Bengal elections: 43 constituencies to go to polls in sixth phase, fate of 306 candidates to be sealed

Over one crore voters in West Bengal will decide the political fate of 306 candidates on Thursday, when 43 assembly constituencies go to polls in the sixth phase, amid a raging second wave of COVID-19.

Security measures have been heightened in view of the violence in the previous phases, particularly the death of five people in Cooch Behar in the fourth phase of polling on April 10, an Election Commission official said.

The poll panel has decided to deploy at least 1,071 companies of central forces in the sixth phase to ensure free and fair voting, he said.

It will also put in place measures to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the voting process, the official said. (PTI)

13:58 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Second COVID wave Modi-made disaster: Mamata

Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the second COVID-19 wave in the country and its management is a "Modi-made disaster".

Addressing an election rally at Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district, the TMC chief asserted that West Bengal will be run only 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 told the rally.

She claimed that this election is a fight to save West Bengal and "protect the honour of the Bengali mother". "Our state will be run by a Bengal engine government and not by Modi's double-engine government. We will not allow Gujarat to capture our state or run it from Delhi. Bengal will rule Bengal," she said. (PTI)

11:59 (IST)21 Apr 2021
PM ignored COVID crisis to hide his lack of foresightedness: Prashant Kishor

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor who is looking after the Trinamool Congress' election strategy in West Bengal on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring the COVID-19 crisis to hide his lack of understanding and foresightedness.

Kishor's statement came after Modi addressed the nation on the coronavirus situation amid a surge in cases. He also alleged that the prime minister bluffed people to claim victory in the battle against the pandemic.

"ModiGovt handling of crisis: #1: ignore problem to hide lack of understanding & foresightedness #2: suddenly take control, use bluff & bluster to claim victory #3: if problem persists, pass it on to others #4: when situation improves, return with Bhakts' army to take credit," Kishor tweeted. (PTI)

11:58 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Poll verdict in Matua bastions crucial for BJP before CAA implementation

With citizenship for refugees having emerged as one of the poll planks of the BJP in its battle for Bengal, Matua bastions and the verdict they present this election will prove to be a test case for the party that had been weighing the pros and cons before implementing a new law enacted for the purpose.

Assembly seats in the Matua strongholds of Bongaon and Krishnanagar, close to the India-Bangladesh border, are set to go to polls in the sixth phase of elections, on April 22. Matuas, who make for a large chunk of the state's Scheduled Caste population, had been migrating to West Bengal since the 1950s, primarily due to religious persecution in erstwhile East Pakistan and then Bangladesh.

With an estimated three million members in the state, the community influences result in at least four Lok Sabha seats and 30-40 assembly seats in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts. (PTI)

10:13 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Why not same passion to win war against COVID-19 as shown to win polls: Sibal to PM

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday asked why he was not showing the same passion to win the war against coronavirus as shown to win elections.

With the country reeling under a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress has questioned Prime Minister Modi for addressing poll rallies in West Bengal while "ignoring his responsibilities" at the Centre.

"Modiji, you use all your : might, muscle power, lung power, resources to win elections. Why not the same passion to win the war against Coronavirus for: our people?" Sibal said in a tweet. (PTI)



09:58 (IST)21 Apr 2021
'People crying, screaming for help, yet govt holding rallies and laughing,' says Priyanka Gandhi

Condemning the BJP for holding election rallies despite a surge in coronavirus cases, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said, "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, & you're going to huge rallies & laughing! How can you?"

09:37 (IST)21 Apr 2021
No let up in Covid cases in Bengal;TMC MP Mausam Noor infected for second time

With three more rounds of voting left, the West Bengal on Tuesday registered its highest-ever single-day spike of 9,819 COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 6,78,172, state health department said in its bulletin.

The number of new infections in a day has more than doubled since April 13, the bulletin noted.

At least 46 more people succumbed to the infection, pushing the toll to 10,652.

Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Mausam Benazir Noor tested positive for the COVID-19, a day before party supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to hold a rally in Chanchal in Noor's native Malda district on Wednesday.

Noor, who had tested positive for the contagion last year also, has been advised to go for home isolation, health department sources said. (PTI)

09:34 (IST)21 Apr 2021
Hello and welcome back to our LIVE blog!

Hello and welcome back to our LIVE blog! Follow this space for the latest updates on the West Bengal Assembly elections. 

17:50 (IST)20 Apr 2021
TMC submits a memorandum to West Bengal state election commission requesting them to club together phases 6, 7 and 8

TMC has submitted a memorandum to the West Bengal state election commission requesting them to club together phases 6, 7 and 8 of the ongoing West Bengal elections

17:38 (IST)20 Apr 2021
Mamata accuses PM of allowing open market sale of vaccines after depleting stocks through gifts abroad

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allowed open market sales of coronavirus vaccines after shipments made by him to foreign shores have depleted stocks in India.

Addressing an election meeting here, the Trinamool Congress supremo said the prime minister had exported vaccines to other countries to boost his image while states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and West Bengal have struggled to get doses they required to combat the Covid pandemic.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

“Yesterday the PM said the medicine (vaccine) will be available in open market. Where is the open market, where is the availability? You have already shipped out the majority of stock to foreign destinations,” she alleged. CLICK HERE to read the complete report

17:35 (IST)20 Apr 2021

deleting_message

15:48 (IST)20 Apr 2021
Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee says new vaccine policy appears hollow

New vaccine policy appears hollow, without substance, is regrettable show of evasion of responsibility by Centre: Bengal CM to PM Modi.

(PTI)

13:28 (IST)20 Apr 2021
Amit Shah says TMC speaking in ‘different voices’ about its leader under CBI, ED scanner

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday targeted the Trinamool Congress (TMC) over corruption allegations against one of its youth leaders. Shah claimed that the ruling party was speaking in different voices on the accusations against Vinay Mishra, who is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with illegal cattle smuggling and coal mining.

At a public meeting in Paschim Bardhaman district, Shah reiterated that those stealing funds meant for people would be put behind bars if the BJP came to power in the state.

“The Narendra Modi government is apprehending people who are stealing coal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently said in an interview with a news channel that the TMC has nothing to do with Mr Mishra. However, her nephew Abhishek Banerjee said in another interview that Mishra is being framed. There are two versions on this,” he added.

Ahead of the sixth phase of polls in West Bengal slated for April 22, the Election Commission on Monday transferred superintendents of police of Purba Bardhaman and Birbhum districts. The poll watchdog also shifted out the Asansol-Durgapur police commissioner and Bolpur SDPO. EC said the transferred officers should not be given any poll-related posts.

Earlier, addressing a rally in Bengal, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is responsible for the “skyrocketing” Covid-19 cases in the country and therefore “he must resign”. “He is the man who is responsible. No planning, no administrative capabilities, complete inefficiency. Neither did he plan ahead, nor did he allow anyone to do so,” Mamata said.

Hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi suspended his political engagements in Bengal due to India’s ongoing Covid-19 surge, TMC MP Derek O’Brien on Sunday announced that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be campaigning in Kolkata. “Besides this, the Chief Minister has also decided to hold rallies for not more than 30 minutes in other districts,” the senior TMC leader added. Kolkata reported over 2,000 new cases, the highest in Bengal on Sunday.

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