COVID-19: Adhir Chowdhury urges EC to defer last three phases of Bengal polls

KOLKATA: Amid the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, the Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission (EC) to defer the last three phases of assembly polls in the state.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked him to take a call on what was more important at this juncture – lives of people or polls to choose their representatives.

“I plead that election, if at all is to be done, should be after ‘Ramjan’ (Ramadan) is over and the present pandemic is diluted,” the senior Congress leader said, reminding the CEC that two candidates in Bengal have died after contracting COVID-19.

Pradip Kumar Nandi, the Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate from Jangipur, and Rezaul Haque, the Congress nominee from Samserganj, succumbed to the infection last week.

Chowdhury further said that the disease is spreading fast throughout the nation and election-bound West Bengal is not immune to this “grave situation”.

“Whatever resources we have should now be utilized in availability of beds for Covid patients, medicines and immunisation. We should take note as to which is most important, lives of people or election of people’s representatives (sic),” he added.