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West Bengal Elections 2021: No Plan to Merge Last Three Polls Phases, Election Commission Says | India News


NEW DELHI: The Electoral Commission on Wednesday ruled out any change in the schedule of the remaining phases of voting in West Bengal, rejecting the demand of the club Trinamool Congress for the last three phases and also that of the Congress to schedule these phases after the month fasting. of Ramzan.
Striking down the Trinamool Congress suggestion for Phases 6, 7 and 8 of the club’s voting, the Commission said that scheduling the voting was a well-planned activity taking into account the complex interplay of a variety of factors ranging from from the optimal use of resources, manpower and training. of them, the logistics involved in the gigantic exercise, the convenience of voters, festivals, etc. and the evaluation of the prevailing public order situations. It added that the separate notifications already issued for each of the phases required that the voting be carried out on different days, counting a minimum of 14 days, as provided in Section 30 (d) of the Law of Representation of the People of 1951, as of the last date of withdrawal of candidacy for each phase.
“The suggestion for the club’s Phase 6, 7 and 8 is not feasible,” the EC wrote to Trinamool Congress deputy Derek O’Brien on Wednesday in response to his April 20 letter sent to Bengal’s electoral director. Occidental on Tuesday, requesting the holding of elections. during the last three phases on a single date in view of the current state of the Covid pandemic.
“Each phase of the election is different and is notified separately according to Section 30 of the RP Law of 1951. In view of this, your presentation that 52 days of the campaign period have already been used is misleading and you do not agree with the law, “said.
Also calling Congress’s suggestion to carry out the remaining phases of the vote after Ramzan and the dilution of the current pandemic as “unacceptable”, EC wrote on Wednesday to the head of the West Bengal PCC, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, stating that the Commission was mandated by the Indian Constitution to complete the electoral process before May 30, when the mandate of the West Bengal assembly expired. “Any postponement of the scheduled elections would affect compliance with the constitutional and statutory provisions related to the timely holding of the elections,” he reasoned.
On concerns regarding the rise of Covid, the EC reminded both TMC and Congress on Wednesday that it had already invoked its powers under Article 324 to ban campaigns between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to discourage public gathering and it also extended the period of silence to 72 hours for the remaining phases. In light of this, the campaign in West Bengal will end at 6.30 pm on April 26.
He added that EC had issued Covid guidelines to ensure that security standards are adhered to during the campaign without exception, and directed West Bengal’s chief secretary, chief election official and district election officials to strictly enforce them.
“You would also have witnessed all the security measures in polling stations that adhere to current guidelines … which have helped create a conducive and safe environment for electoral participation,” said EC, adding that the measures will continue to be followed in the remaining phases. The commission has also made elaborate arrangements to count on May 2, he added.

Times of India