In view of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Election Commission has decided to ban rallies, public meeting and streets play in poll-bound West Bengal from 7 pm to 10 am. The silence period for the remaining phases has also been extended from 48 hours to 72 hours.
During an all-party meeting called by the West Bengal CEO over the Covid-19 situation, the Left Front said that the poll schedule should be maintained. “Our point is that the schedule should be maintained. The election is in motion. There is no question of change of schedule at this point of time,” CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Bhattacharya was quoted saying by PTI after the meeting.
Out of the eight-phase assembly elections in the state, four phases have been completed and the remaining four are scheduled to be held between April 17 and 29.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that if the situation of infiltration continues in Bengal, it will pose a threat to the entire country. “Shouldn’t we stop infiltration in Bengal? Infiltrators take away jobs of our youth, snatch away foodgrain of the poor,” he said during a poll rally.
In other news, an FIR has been lodged against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging that her speech instigating voters to ‘gherao’ central forces in the state had ultimately led to the violent incident in Cooch Behar, where four villagers were shot dead by CISF personnel at a polling booth, PTI reported.