After much hue and cry, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday finally took some decision to control the crowd in the ongoing Bengal election. The commission has come under scanner for allowing large-scale election rallies despite massive surge in Covid-19 infection across the country. Political parties and their leaders, which include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, have been violating the Covid-19 protocol by holding massive rallies. The citizens have been urging the EC to conduct the remaining phase in one go and also to stop the political rallies.
What is worrying is that the EC took these initiatives only after the Calcutta High Court ordered it to take action in view of the rising Covid cases. Bengal, which crossed the 10,000 mark in daily surges for the first time two days ago, logged 11,948 cases over the last 24 hours. Fifty-six fatalities were also recorded. Amid concerns that poll rallies might become super-spreader events, the court, while hearing appeals for intervention, sought an action taken report from the commission. Also, the EC’s decision coincided with the decision of PM Modi to cancel his visit to Bengal on Friday to campaign for the ongoing state election. The EC should have acted much earlier. Apart from cancelling all the political rallies and meetings, it should have conducted elections in three phases instead of eight phases. By taking delayed action, it has put the lives of lakhs of people at risk. The Election Commission has failed the citizens of India with its slow response to the growing Covid-19 pandemic.