Bengal Elections: EC Curtails Campaign Hours, Extends Silence Period To 72 Hours
Kolkata: Campaigning hours have been curtailed for the three phases of polling in West Bengal that will be left after Saturday’s fifth phase.
The Election Commission (EC) took the decision on Friday in view of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in the state and across the country.
“There shall not be any campaign between 7 pm and 10 am on campaigning days. Silence period extended from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases in West Bengal,” the EC statement said.
The chief electoral officer (CEO) of Bengal Aariz Aftab had called an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the COVID situation vis-à-vis the big crowds attending the election rallies of BJP heavyweights like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and a clutch of tinsel town stars who are contesting polls or campaigning for candidates in West Bengal.
Earlier this week, Calcutta High Court issued an order urging the CEO and district magistrates to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 protocol during campaign for the remaining phases.
The Opposition parties had asked the EC to club the remaining three phases of the Assembly election together. But the poll body ruled it out.