KOLKATA: Cutting across differences, political parties in West Bengal Tuesday welcomed the Election Commission's decision to ban all victory processions after the declaration of results of the assembly polls in four states and a union territory in order to check the surge in coronavirus.
The EC on Tuesday decided to make more stringent the provisions to be followed during the process of counting.
"No victory procession after the counting on May 2 shall be permissible," an order issued by the poll body to chief electoral officers of all states and UTs said.
Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Roy said the decision was welcome though the party had put it to practice after winning the 2011 assembly election.
Roy further said the EC decision, taken after the Madras High Court lambasted the poll panel for rise in corona cases in the poll-bound states and UT, would be followed in letter and spirit by his party.
The Madras High Court had on Monday castigated the Election Commission over the COVID-19 second wave in the country holding it 'singularly' responsible for the spread, called it the "the most irresponsible institution" and had even said its officials may be booked under murder charges.
BJP state vice-president Joy Prakash Majumder said due to the surge in Covid-19 cases the EC took the right decision of not allowing victory rallies.
"We welcome the EC directive. BJP will ensure no victory procession will be taken out during and after counting is over," he added.
CPI-M leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said the EC decision is welcome.
"However processions should have been banned by the EC earlier during the last phases of the assembly poll when the COVID-19 surge started," he said.
WBPCC President Adhir Chowdhury also praised the EC decision in view of the situation.
"We had earlier urged the EC to stop the gathering of people during campaign meetings when the COVID-19 surge became prominent. We are happy the EC prohibited the victory processions," he said.
While the eighth and last phase of election will be held in West Bengal on April 29, the voting exercise is over in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and in the union territory of Puducherry.