Shooting down the Trinamool Congress’s suggestion to club Phase 6, 7 and 8 of polling, the Commission said scheduling of polls was an activity planned much in advance taking into account the complex interplay of variety of factors ranging from optimal utilisation of resources, manpower and training thereof, logistic involved in the mammoth exercise, voters’ convenience, festivals etc and assessment of prevailing law and order situations.
In a separate letter, the Commission warned all political parties of action under the Disaster Management Act and revoking permission for election rallies if they fail to abide by the Covid-19 protocols for campaigning.
This week the TMC had urged the EC to merge the remaining three phases of voting into one, and the Congress had approached the poll body to suggest that voting be postponed till after the Ramzan. The latter, Congress said, will give enough time for the fresh wave of Covid cases to wane.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too wrote to the Election Commission and opposed any move to club the remaining phases.
The party argued that the Commission must ensure that the righto campaign that was enjoyed by candidates in the first five phases must also be enjoyed by the candidates of the remaining three phases. This, it argued, would ensure a level-playing field.