The Election Commission on Wednesday rejected Trinamool Congress’ request to hold polling in the remaining 112 assembly constituencies in West Bengal due to the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.
The election body also rejected the demand of the Congress for postponement of the remaining phases of polling. The EC responding to a letter sent by Derek O'Brien, leader of Trinamool Congress explained that it had now extended the campaign silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours before the end of the voting in every phase. West Bengal will witness no electioneering between 6-30 p.m. on April 26 – the date of seventh phase polling – and the conclusion of the eight and last phase polling on April 29. The commission barred campaigning between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. for the constituencies, which would go to polls on Thursday, April 26, and April 29 next.
The EC said that any postponement of scheduled elections would affect adherence to constitutional and statutory provisions related to timely conduct of elections and stated that it was mandated under the Constitution of India to complete the electoral process before the end of the term of the current assembly of West Bengal on May 30.