'Hold remaining Bengal phases in one go': Mamata Banerjee urges EC amid spurt in COVID-19 cases

Amid a rise in the COVID-19 cases, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged the Election Commission to conduct polls in 8 phases. The CM and Trinamool Congress supremo has urged ECI to consider holding remaining phases in one go. She said, "this will protect people from further exposure to virus."

Several senior Trinamool leaders have accused the Election Commission of drawing out the elections over an unprecedented eight phases. The party has earlier repeatedly accused the Commission of partisanship.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra also on Twitter charged the EC and said "It is certainly criminal negligence bordering on manslaughter on part of @ECISVEEP to mandate 8 phase election in WB in middle of worst pandemic. Unbelievable that we are being put through this. Infections, deaths rising everyday."

The CM from a public meeting at Jalpaiguri alleged that the COVID 19 situation is worsening in West Bengal due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a public rally, the TMC supremo claimed that by bringing ‘outsiders’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is purposely spreading virus in West Bengal.

“I am sitting with money and in mid March I had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking more stock of vaccination and also told him that I want to give free vaccines to everyone ahead of the polls. But my letter went unnoticed. They are bringing outsiders not just to spread violence during polls but also to spread the virus,” alleged Mamata.

Meanwhile, The Election Commission of India (ECI) also today dismissed speculations that the final four phases of the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal could be clubbed due to the massive rise in daily COVID-19 cases, news agency ANI reported.

"No such plan of clubbing phases," said the ECI on speculations about the Commission clubbing remaining Assembly election phases in West Bengal into one.

On Wednesday, the state recorded its highest-ever single-day spike of 5,892 coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 6,30,116, the state health department bulletin said. The death toll in West Bengal rose to 10,458 after 24 more fatalities were recorded, it added. The number of active cases in the state has jumped to 32,621.

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