Opposition wants immediate polls in West Bengal cities and towns

At the meeting the opposition parties including the BJP, CPI(M) alleged that the State government’s desire to phase out polling “was an excuse” as most of the boards had finished their tenure long before the pandemic had started

All opposition political parties on November 22 demanded immediate polling at all municipalities and municipal corporations in Bengal at a meeting with the State election commission officials, while the Trinamool Congress sought a phased poll keeping in view the vaccination rate in various cities and towns.

At the meeting the opposition parties including the BJP, CPI(M) alleged that the State government’s desire to phase out polling "was an excuse" as most of the boards had finished their tenure long before the pandemic had started, officials, who did not wish to be named as they were not authorised to speak, said.

Trinamool Congress’s Tapas Roy, however, rubbished claims of the opposition and said the State government had decided to abide by Covid-19 safety protocols and "there was no other motive behind this", the source said.

Mr. Roy had claimed that in Kolkata, 75% of the second dose vaccination has been completed while in Howrah, 55% people have been fully vaccinated, leading to the State government seeking to have polling for these "two municipalities in the first round".

Mr. Roy was accompanied by his party colleague Debashish Kumar in the meeting.

BJP MP Arjun Singh, CPI(M)’s veteran leader Rabin Deb as well as leaders of the CPI, Congress and Forward Bloc attended November 22 all-party meeting, sources elaborated.

"There was no discussion on law and order, security, and about the deployment of security forces during today’s meeting, There were discussions on how the elections will be held amid this ongoing pandemic," the official said.

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