15:38 GMT18 May 2021
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    Last week, the Election Commission of India (ECI) banned all roadshows and all forms of rallies in West Bengal, a state that is in the middle of 8-phase assembly electiona and is witnessing a massive spike in COVID-19 cases.

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday banned all kinds of victory campaigns and processions the day of or after the election results are declared on 2 May in a bid to prevent gatherings of massive crowds amid a devastating second wave of the coronavirus,

    State legislature elections have recently been held in the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Union Territory of Puducherry. The state of West Bengal is yet to see polls for the eighth phase.

    "Not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative receive the certificate of election from the Returning Officer concerned", the Election Commission notification reads.

    The announcement came a day after the Madras High Court in Tamil Nadu blasted the Election Commission, saying it is "singularly responsible" for the second wave of coronavirus in the country.

    The High Court also asked the ECI to submit the blueprint for the results day, warning the constitutional body that it will stop the result count if needed. 

    According to the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry, India has recorded over 323,144 COVID-19 cases and 2,771 deaths in the past 24 hours. The country's total caseload has crossed 17 million.


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