West Bengal is under its fifth phase of polling for 45 seats out of total 294 assembly seats. It is the biggest phase of all eight phases in the state which is happening when the country is reporting more than 2 lakh cases from last two days.
Citing the Covid situation the Election Commission on Friday ordered for a silence period of 72 hours irrespective of 48 hours before the remaining poll phases in the state. The polling body also said that all election rallies and meetings will be banned from 7 pm to 10 am even on the days when campaigning is allowed.
The EC also criticised all the political parties for violating all the Covid-19 guidelines and for not following the covid appropriate behaviour. The Commission warned all the party candidates contesting to wear face masks and said it will be the responsibility of the rally organizers to make sure that all the attendees also wear face masks and strictly follow social distancing.
This comes on the day when both Amit Shah and CM Mamata Banerjee held multiple roadshows and rallies without wearing masks and breached all Covid-19 protocols with rally organizers not enforcing any strict rules.
Ms Banerjee on Thursday demanded for clubbing of all the remaining phases into one in a view of covid situation but the EC ruled out her demand.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader said that it would be difficult to follow social distancing if all the remaining phases are clubbed. He also said there is no sign that these elections are the reason behind this rapid surge of coronavirus cases. The left also agreed upon this with the BJP.
West Bengal has nearly reported 7,000 cases on Friday.