Wish EC puts bypoll campaigns on hold for 10 days amid festivities: Mamata

The CM also said that the poll panel has not objected to the government's decision to grant an allowance of Rs 50,000 to every puja committee, and money would be disbursed soon.

Published: 03rd October 2021 12:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2021 12:02 AM   |  A+A-

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she would ideally want the Election Commission to put on hold by-poll campaigns for 10 days from October 10 as people, during that period, would be busy celebrating the biggest annual festival with fervour.

By-elections to four assembly constituencies -- Kharadaha, Shantipur, Dinhata and Gosaba -- are scheduled to be held on October 30.

"I wish the Election Commission puts on hold all bypoll campaigns during Durga puja and Lakshmi puja. People will be in festive mood. They shouldn't be disturbed. Campaigns can commence from October 21 for a week," Banerjee told reporters at Nabanna.

The CM also said that the poll panel has not objected to the government's decision to grant an allowance of Rs 50,000 to every puja committee, and money would be disbursed soon.

However, as directed by the EC, the state has decided to put off the implementation of Lakshmir Bhandar scheme in districts where by-elections will take place on October 30.

"Mothers will be receiving Lakhsmir Bhandar benefits from November again. They will get two months' dole together next month," she said.

She further requested people to follow the high court order, which has banned the entry of visitors in pandals to check the spread of COVID-19.

"Please follow COVID-19 protocols. You can enjoy even without entering pandals," the CM said.

Banerjee also said that "other pending elections" will be conducted after the October 30 by-polls.

She was apparently referring to elections to over 100 civic bodies, due for over two years.

"We have to conduct other pending elections after the by-polls to four assembly seats," she said at the state secretariat.

Polls to municipal corporations and municipalities are conducted by the State Election Commission.

The BJP and the CPI(M) has been criticising the TMC government for delaying the elections to civic bodies, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

At least 107 civic bodies are currently being run by administrators appointed by the state government.

The TMC had maintained that the civic polls could not be conducted in time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said, "We wish the state government will not delay the municipal polls further. The TMC is trying to keep the civic bodies in its control for an indefinite period by appointing administrators. They should be ready to get people's mandate."



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