The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday decided not to organise big rallies for the remaining phases of the state election and only resort to door-to-door and social media campaign due to the surge in Covid cases in the state.
“We had seen the high turnouts in our meetings in all the phases of polling so far. With the sharp rise in Covid-19 we have decided not to hold any big rally to prevent any contamination. We will undertake door to doors and small group meetings with all Covid-19 measures in place,” senior party leader Md Salim was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
Campaigning for the fifth phase of polls ended on Wednesday, 72 hours before the voting on April 17.
The sudden resurgence of Covid cases has triggered concerns and political blame-game in the state, with Chief Minister blaming the BJP for the latest crisis.
Ms Banerjee said that there wouldn’t have been this second outbreak of the pandemic if the centre had vaccinated people on time.
Speaking at an election campaign rally at Jalpaiguri in north Bengal on Wednesday, she attacked the BJP, without naming the party, for importing the virus into Bengal through the hundreds of “outsiders” it was bringing into the state for election campaign.
“Where were you all these days? You have brought Covid and run away. We had cured everything. If they had given the vaccination to all the people in time, then there would be no new cases of Covid,” Ms Banerjee said, referring to the BJP without naming the party.
Meanwhile, state chief electoral officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab Wednesday called an all party meeting on April 16 following the Calcutta High Court direction in the state to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 protocol during campaigning for the remaining four phases of the state election.
All political parties in the state have been asked to send only one representative each for the meeting which will discuss matters related to the campaigning for the last four phases of the poll, he said.