EC Says No Plan to Club Last 3 Phases of West Bengal Polls, Ends Speculation

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The Election Commission on Thursday dismissed speculation that the last three phases of assembly polls in West Bengal could be clubbed in view of the surge in coronavirus cases in the country. Since this morning, there has been speculation in the media that the last three phases of the assembly elections on April 22, 26 and 29 could be clubbed into a single phase.

“(There is) no such plan of clubbing phases,” an EC spokesperson in response to queries. There are suggestions that some political parties may raise the issue at an all-party meeting called by the chief electoral officer of West Bengal on Friday. The meeting has been called to ensure that COVID-19 guidelines issued by the EC are adhered to by political leaders during campaigning.

Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases, the EC had on April 9 flagged instances of star campaigners and leaders campaigning without masks and warned that it will not hesitate in banning events like rallies in case the COVID-19 guidelines issued by it last year are not followed.

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