Home / West-bengal / Covid ‘under control’, Mamata Banerjee seeks pending bypolls to seven Assembly seats

We should not curtail democratic rights of people, says CM

Covid ‘under control’, Mamata Banerjee seeks pending bypolls to seven Assembly seats

64th straight day of fall in total active cases
Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee
File picture

Meghdeep Bhattacharyya   |   Calcutta   |   Published 24.08.21, 02:20 AM

Bengal on Monday recorded 64 straight days of a drop in its total number of active Covid-19 cases, with chief minister Mamata Banerjee again demanding that the pending bypolls to seven Assembly seats be held at a time “the Covid situation was totally under control”.

With 510 new infections, 628 recoveries and seven deaths in the state on Monday, active cases fell by 125 to touch 9,336.


“Again, our request to the Election Commission (of India) would be that four months are already over, and our Covid-19 situation is totally under control. The people have the right to cast their votes, and they have the right to be elected to the Assembly…. They (the EC) have already sought the opinions from all the political parties (on the bypolls),” said Mamata, adding the last day for the parties to reply was August 31.

“I think the Election Commission must announce the by-elections immediately. Because we should not curtail the democratic rights of the people,” she added.

These bypolls assume more importance than usual as Mamata lost a contentious election from Nandigram to the BJP's Suvendu Adhikari by a margin of 1,956 votes or 0.85 per cent of vote share, a result being challenged in court. However, she led her party to win 213 of 292 seats and returned to power for a straight third term..

Having taken oath as chief minister on May 5, she needs to get elected to the House before November 5. She is now likely to return to her home turf Bhowanipore, vacated by agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay for her.

Mamata and her party have repeatedly underscored that if the Bengal polls  could be held in eight phases during a viral peak, when the positive confirmation rate of Covid-19 cases reached 33 per cent by phase eight of the polls, there was no ground to stave off pending Assembly bypolls in seven seats when that rate is below 2 per cent, 1.88 on Monday.

The state’s recovery rate is 98.2 per cent now, its highest ever this pandemic and ahead of the national rate of 97.62.

Mamata said the impact of Covid-19 wasn’t very strong in areas of scheduled bypolls.

A day after the Assembly poll results of May 2, the commission suspended all bypolls indefinitely, with dates for Jangipur and Samserganj Assembly by-polls already announced, following the deaths of candidates before polling.

Besides these, bypolls will be in Dinhata and Santipur, where BJP MPs Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar, resigned from the Assembly to continue as members of the Lok Sabha, and Khardah, where Trinamul’s victorious candidate Kajal Sinha died of Covid-19 before results, and Gosaba, where Trinamul’s victorious candidate Jayanta Naskar died of post-Covid-19 complications in June.

On Monday, Calcutta logged 77 new infections and two deaths.

No district has reported a three-digit figure of new Covid cases in a day for 18 days on the trot. Twenty Bengal districts have reported zero deaths on Monday. The state’s mortality rate is 1.19 now, while that of the nation stayed put at 1.34 per cent.

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