Mamata asks EC to club 4 final Bengal election phases
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged the Election Commission to hold the remaining four phases of the state Assembly elections in one day. The call was made in light of the ever-worsening COVID-19 situation. EC officials had said earlier in the day that there was no plan to club the final four election phases. Here are more details.
'Urge EC to consider holding remaining phases in one go'
Banerjee said in a tweet on Thursday, "Amid an ongoing pandemic, we firmly opposed @ECISVEEP's decision to conduct WB polls in 8 phases." "Now, in view of the huge surge in #COVID19 cases, I urge the ECI to consider holding the remaining phases in ONE go. This will protect the people from further exposure to #COVID19," the tweet added.
Criminal negligence bordering on manslaughter: TMC MP
The EC has come under fire for continuing to hold the eight-phase West Bengal election through the pandemic. Mahua Moitra, an MP from Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC), also tweeted saying that this amounts to "criminal negligence bordering on manslaughter."
No plan to club remaining 4 election phases: EC
Earlier on Thursday, EC officials said that there was no plan to club the remaining four election phases. West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has called an all-party meeting in Kolkata on Friday to discuss adherence to COVID-19 guidelines by the poll commission. Last Friday, the EC had sent a letter to all political parties mentioning instances of violation of COVID-19 appropriate behavior.
Bengal reported record spike in infections today
West Bengal reported the biggest single-day spike of 6,769 new cases and 22 more deaths on Thursday. The total caseload in the state has reached 6,36,885, which includes 10,480 deaths and 5,89,424 recoveries. India reported a record 2,00,739 new cases and 1,038 fresh fatalities on Thursday. The nationwide tally has reached 1,40,74,564 cases, which includes 1,73,123 deaths and 1,24,29,564 recoveries.
Fifth election phase on Saturday
The first four phases of the West Bengal elections were held on March 27 (held in 30 Assembly constituencies), April 1 (30), April 6 (31), and April 10 (44). The next four phases are to be held on April 17 (held in 45 Assembly constituencies), April 22 (43), April 26 (36), and April 29 (35). The votes will be counted on May 2.