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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Wednesday dominated out any change in schedule for the remaining phases of polling in West Bengal, rejecting the demand of Trinamool Congress to membership the final three phases and likewise that of the Congress to schedule these phases after the fasting month of Ramzan.
Shooting down the Trinamool Congress’s suggestion to membership Phase 6, 7 and eight of polling, the Commission mentioned scheduling of polls was an exercise deliberate a lot prematurely taking into consideration the advanced interaction of number of components starting from optimum utilisation of assets, manpower and coaching thereof, logistic concerned within the mammoth train, voters’ comfort, festivals and so on and evaluation of prevailing legislation and order conditions. It added that separate notifications already issued for every of the phases required polls to be held on totally different days, counting the minimal 14 days – as mandated underneath Section 30(d) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 — from the final date of withdrawal of candidature for every part.
“Suggestion to club Phase 6, 7 and 8 is not feasible,” the EC wrote to Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien on Wednesday in response to his April 20 letter submitted to the West Bengal chief electoral officer on Tuesday, requesting holding of polls for the final three phases on a single date in view of the present state of Covid pandemic.
“Each phase of election is distinct and notified separately u/s Section 30 of RP Act, 1951. In view of this, your submission that 52 days of campaign period has already been availed is misleading and not in accordance with the law,” it mentioned.
Also terming as “unacceptable” the Congress’s suggestion to conduct the remaining phases of polling after Ramzan and dilution of the current pandemic, EC on Wednesday wrote to West Bengal PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, stating that Commission was mandated underneath the Constitution of India to finish the electoral course of earlier than May 30, when the time period of the West Bengal meeting would expire. “Any postponement of scheduled elections would affect adherence to Constitutional and statutory provisions related to timely conduct of elections,” it reasoned.
On considerations concerning the Covid surge, the EC on Wednesday reminded each TMC and Congress that it had already invoked its powers underneath Article 324 to ban campaigning between 7 pm and 10 am to discourage public gathering and likewise prolonged the silence interval to 72 hours for the remaining phases. In view of this, campaigning in West Bengal will finish at 6.30 pm on April 26.
It added that EC had issued Covid tips to make sure that security norms are adhered to throughout campaigning with none exceptions, and directed the West Bengal chief secretary, chief electoral officer and district election officers to strictly implement the identical.
“You would have also witnessed that all safety measures have been put in place in the polling stations adhering to the extant guidelines…which has helped in creating a conducive and safe environment for electoral participation,” EC mentioned including that the measures shall proceed to be adopted within the remaining phases. The Commission has additionally made elaborate preparations for relying on May 2, it added.


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