West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday cancelled at her pre-scheduled public meetings and said that she would reach out to people through virtual meetings.
“In the wake of upsurge in #COVID19 cases across the country and the ECI Order dated 22nd April, 2021, I am cancelling all my prescheduled meetings and we will reach out to the people virtually. We will be sharing the updated schedule of the virtual meetings shortly,” Ms. Banerjee said on social media.
The decision by the Trinamool Congress chairperson came hours after the Election Commission of India issued an order banning all road shows, bike rallies and public meetings with more than 500 people in West Bengal.
Ms. Banerjee was scheduled to address three public meetings in Malda and Dakshin Dinajpur districts on Friday. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was scheduled to address four public meetings in West Bengal on Friday, cancelled his political engagements. According to West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party president Dilip Ghosh, Mr. Modi will address the people of West Bengal virtually on Friday.
Assembly polls to the seventh and eight phases in West Bengal are scheduled on April 26 and April 29 respectively. About 71 seats will go polls in the two phases, with most constituencies located in the Malda, Murshidabad, Dakshin Dinjapur, Birbhum and Paschim Bardhhaman districts of the State.
The State registered on Thursday a record 11,948 new cases of COVID-19 infections, and 56 deaths, in the past 24 hours.