Election Commission of India (ECI) has called for an all-party meeting on Monday, to discuss the preparedness of upcoming West Bengal assembly election to be conducted in early 2021. To ensure a free and fair election, ECI officials will also interact with representatives of respective districts on November 10.
The party meeting will be chaired by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab to discuss poll preparedness amid the pandemic, while the state's Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta will join the meeting via video conferencing.
“The Covid-19 situation is a worrying factor but as per reports, there is no significant rise in the cases. If things continue like this, then we will have the polls in Bengal on schedule. As far as public health and safety is concerned, we will have another meeting with the experts to prepare a list of the Dos and Don’ts to conduct the polls,” a senior state EC official said.
It will be a new experience to conduct elections during a pandemic, rather, I would say it will be a challenging task for all of us, he added. However, EC officials claimed that they are fully prepared and voters will be allowed to cast their votes in smaller batches to avoid overcrowding and to maintain the social distancing.
From the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Partha Chatterjee and on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Pratap Banerjee will attend the meeting. While on the behalf of Communist Party of India (M), Sujan Chakraborty is likely to attend the meeting and Adhir Chowdhury will represent the Congress party.
While the parties are aggressively working on the ground to corner the BJP in all the districts, the saffron party claims to win more than 200 seats in the state.
The 2021 Assembly polls will be TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee’s third term contest. And the party has been conducting organisational meetings with leaders and district presidents to chalk out plans for the crucial elections.
Meanwhile, BJP has been confident of forming the government in the state and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his recent visit to Bengal claimed that they are going to win a two-thirds majority.