The Election Commission on Sunday wrote to the West Bengal government asking it to ensure all necessary steps to thwart post-poll violence after the results of the by-polls are declared on Sunday. In its letter to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Electoral Officer of the state has also asked the state administration to ensure that no victory celebration or procession is allowed during or after the counting of votes for by-elections in the state keeping in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes after several incidents of violence were reported at various places after the announcement of the Assembly poll results on May 2, after which a four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas.
"I am directed to reiterate that no victory celebration/procession during/after the counting shall be allowed in the ongoing elections in West Bengal, for which counting is being taken place on October 3. All necessary actions must be taken to ensure the strict compliance of commission's direction wherein all such activities have already been prohibited in view of the pandemic," the letter read.
"Further, state government must ensure that adequate steps are taken so that no post-poll violence takes place. Kindly ensure strict compliance of commission's direction," it added.
The counting of votes for by-elections in Bhabanipur, Jangipur, and Samserganj Assembly constituencies in West Bengal began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata as she was leading by 28,825 votes in Bhabanipur bypolls against BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal after the 9th round of counting.
Trinamool Congress had registered a landslide victory in assembly polls winning 213 of 294 seats in the West Bengal assembly. The BJP won 77 seats.
(With inputs from ANI)