The Election Commission has prohibited roadshows, 'padyatras' and big public meetings in poll-bound West Bengal from Thursday evening in the wake of surge in COVID-19 cases. The poll panel said that many political parties and candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during the public gatherings.
"The Commission has noted with anguish that many political parties/candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during the public gatherings and this is making it difficult for the state/district election machineries to enforce the directions fully," the poll panel said in its order.
"The commission invoking its power under article 324 further orders that with effect from 7 pm of April 22 in the state of West Bengal no roadshow/padyatra shall be permissible. No cycle/bike/vehicle rally shall be permissible. No public meeting beyond the limit of 500 persons at a place subject to availability with adequate space with social distancing, adhering to COVID-19 safety norms shall be permissible," the poll panel said.
"Permission for roadshow, cycle/bike/vehicle rally if granted already, stands withdrawn. Permission for public meeting if granted already stands modified," it added.
The polling for the sixth phase of the eight-phased West Bengal elections concluded on Thursday with an approximate voter turnout of 79.09 per cent till 5 pm.
Polling for the seventh and eighth phases will be held on April 26 and 29 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
( With inputs from ANI )
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