West Bengal polls: EC bans physical campaigning

The Election Commission in West Bengal has ordered curtains on road shows/pad yatras, cycle rallies and public meetings with up to 500 persons allowed with social distancing.

The poll panel has noted with anguish that many political parties and candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during public gatherings and this is making it difficult for the state and district election machineries to enforce the guidelines.

The new norms banning bike rallies and public meetings beyond 500 persons have already kicked in from 7 pm Thursday.

With the poll-bound West Bengal reeling under the pressure of tackling the second wave of the coronavirus,Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Banerjee and Congress’s Rahul Gandhi had suspended all their public rallies last week.

Meanwhile, continuing BJP campaign trail for Bengal elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president JP Nadda hold large rallies and road shows in state.

The voter turnout in the sixth phase polls climbed up to 79.09% at 5 pm on Thursday, data put out by the Election Commission of India showed.Polling is being conducted at 14,480 polling stations in 43 Assembly constituencies across parts of North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Uttar Dinajpur and Purba Bardhaman.