Amid rising Covid-19 cases across the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the Election Commission to club the remaining three phases of the Assembly polls into one.
This is the second time the TMC chief is making such an appeal.
“Amid an ongoing pandemic, we firmly opposed @ECISVEEP 's decision to conduct WB polls in 8 phases. Now, in view of the huge surge in #COVID19 cases, I urge the ECI to consider holding the remaining phases in ONE go. This will protect the people from further exposure to #COVID19,” she had tweeted last week.
Amid an ongoing pandemic, we firmly opposed @ECISVEEP's decision to conduct WB polls in 8 phases.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 15, 2021
Now, in view of the huge surge in #COVID19 cases, I urge the ECI to consider holding the remaining phases in ONE go. This will protect the people from further exposure to #COVID19.
Indicating that the EC may have decided against clubbing the remaining phases at the behest of the BJP, Banerjee, while addressing a rally in Uttar Dinajpur on Monday, requested the poll panel to prioritise public health.
"With folded hands, I request the EC to hold the next three phases on a single day. If not one day, conduct it in two days and save one day.
"Please don't take your decision based on what the BJP says... Please ensure that you protect public health by curtailing the poll schedule, even if it is by one day," the TMC supremo said.
West Bengal on Sunday registered its highest single-day spike of 8,419 fresh cases and at least 28 fatalities.
Banerjee also lambasted the Narendra Modi government for "not taking adequate measures in the past six months to avert vaccine crisis".
The CM also said that she and other leaders of her party would not hold any rally in congested areas.
Banerjee further said that the state government is taking “every possible measure” to check the spread of the virus.
While addressing a press meet in Malda, Banerjee stressed that night curfew may not be a solution in Bengal, where "political pollution" needs to be checked first.
The CM, however, did not explain what exactly she was referring to as "political pollution".
Listing out the steps taken by the state government to tackle the situation, such as increase in the number of COVID beds in hospitals, she requested all offices to make do with 50 per cent workforce for now.
"I would urge everyone not to panic. We have formed a task force to tackle the Covid-19 surge. We have increased the number of beds, safe homes," she stated.
Banerjee also urged the central government to ensure smooth supply of vaccines and medicines.
"We have demanded more vaccines as there is a severe shortage. The Centre should ensure smooth supply of vaccines, medicines and oxygen cylinders," she said.
(With PTI inputs)
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