Other States

Coronavirus | Mamata blames BJP for surge in cases

Another candidate contesting the West Bengal Assembly elections died after testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday, even as political parties continued campaigning, even while blaming each other for the surge cases.

Pradip Nandy, 73, a Samyukt Morcha candidate from Jangipur in Murshidabad who died, was representing Revolutionary Socialist Party, a constituent of the Left Front. He is the second candidate to die of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. On Thursday, Congress candidate from Shamshergunj, Rejaul Haque succumbed to the infection. At least four other poll contestants have tested positive.

Meanwhile, the State recorded a record 6,910 new cases and 26 deaths in the past 24 hours. A number of hospitals in the city are facing a shortage of beds as the number of patients continued to rise. Kolkata recorded about 1,844 new infections in the past 24 hours.

State’s Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab held a meeting with representatives of political parties on maintaining COVID-19 protocols. The Trinamool Congress leaders who participated in the meeting sought clubbing of the last three phases of the Assembly elections after fifth round of polls on Saturday. Later in the evening the ECI extended the silence period from 48 hrs to 72 hrs in each of remaining three phases of West Bengal polls. The Commission also issued a ban on rallies, public meetings from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. with immediate effect.

Earlier in the day while speaking at a public meeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the BJP for the rise in the COVID-19 cases, linking the surge to the “BJP people” from “worst-hit” States like Gujarat brought in for erecting stages and marquees for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll rallies.

“I will urge the ECI to stop BJP from bringing outsiders in Bengal during campaigning to check spread of COVID-19,” Ms Banerjee said addressing a rally at Nadia.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah along with several political leaders held a public meeting and road show at Tehatta in Nadia and BJP president J.P. Nadda addressed a public meeting at Ketugram in Bardhaman district.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 7:59:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-mamata-blames-bjp-for-surge-in-cases/article34338577.ece

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