Assembly Elections 2021 Live Updates: EC says all Covid norms were not followed during poll campaigns in Bengal
West Bengal Elections 2021 Live Updates: Earlier on Saturday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that the three special observers of the Election Commission were ordering police officers to detain TMC workers during the polling hours, asserting that she would move the Supreme Court against such a "conspiracy" after the elections.
EC noted with concern that during public campaigns for electioneering, the enforcement under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 has been less than adequate. (Express file photo/Partha Paul)
West Bengal Elections 2021 Live Updates: The Election Commission on Saturday noted with concern that the enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour under the Disaster Management Act during campaigning in West Bengal has been “less than adequate”. It also said that the body tasked with the enforcement of Covid-19 guidelines needs to step up its assigned duty.
The issues were flagged at a meeting held by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar with top state government officials to review enforcement of COVID guidelines during campaigning in West Bengal where two remaining phases of assembly elections are to take place next week.
Earlier on Saturday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that the three special observers of the Election Commission were ordering police officers to detain TMC workers during the polling hours, asserting that she would move the Supreme Court against such a “conspiracy” after the elections.
Addressing party members at the Gitanjali auditorium in Bolpur in Birbhum district, Banerjee said that she can’t be silenced even if she is show-caused. “Enough is enough. I don’t have any issue if they (EC observers) are working for free and fair elections but they have been working only to help the BJP. They want to finish off Trinamool,” the chief minister alleged.
EC special observers asking cops to to detain TMC workers during the polling hours, alleges Mamata; EC lodges FIR against 13 candidates, show-causes 33 for Covid violations. Follow this space for more latest updates.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during an election campaign at Habibpur, Malda.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) till Friday lodged FIRs against 13 candidates for allegedly violating COVID-19 safety protocols and issued show-cause notices to 33 others contesting the West Bengal assembly elections in the remaining seventh and eighth phases for the same reason, an official said. "A show-cause notice is first sent to a candidate for alleged violation of coronavirus protocols. If the officials are not satisfied with the reply of the notice, they must lodge an FIR. The officials must also send a compliance report to the Commission," the official told PTI.
Yesterday was the final day of campaigning for the state's 34 assembly seats, which are scheduled to go to the poll on April 26 in the seventh phase of election being held amidst the surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Bengal yearns for peace, security and development. The Prime Minister, who cancelled his Bengal visit to hold crucial meetings on Covid-19 situation in the country, said in his virtual address: "People of Bengal want dignity of labour, ease of living, ease of doing business."
WITH ITS load of active cases at more than 68,000, a record daily high on Thursday, and a new Covid-19 mutant traced to the state, West Bengal’s election process dragged on Thursday for the two remaining phases, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee holding four public meetings and Union Home Minister Amit Shah one rally before cancelling the next two at the last minute.
There were around 5,000 people at each of Banerjee’s four rallies — at Tapan in Dakshin Dinajpur; Asansol in West Burdwan; and Habibpur and Ratua in Malda districts. Masks were worn by few, with the numbers making social distancing virtually impossible.
Shah’s sole public meeting, in Dakshin Dinajpur, had at least double the BJP’s promised limit of 500 for such meetings. Again masks were rare.
Waiting for her turn to vote in the violence-hit Titagarh town of West Bengal, Gauri Kumari like everyone else outside a polling booth was wearing masks. Though the town has seen regular gang wars, bomb blasts and political murders ahead of the Assembly elections, her mind is shrouded by the surging Covid-19pandemic.
“I am not bothered who wins in this election because every political party is the same. My mother Saraswati Devi is above 60 years old. We took her for (Covid) vaccination on April 14, but were told to come back some other day as there was no vaccine. Since then, there has been no communication. There was a shortage of vaccine and only the first 100 people were given the dose,” said Gauri.
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