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Bista for deferring civic elections; he cites Covid surge

According to him, postponing the elections by at least a month should not pose any problem to the day-to-day functioning of these bodies, as the state government has not held elections to civic bodies in the state for a long time now.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

Darjeeling’s BJP Member of Parliament Raju Bista has said that the state election commission in West Bengal should postpone the civic body elections planned to be held later this month, given the rising cases of Covid-19 in the state.

According to him, postponing the elections by at least a month should not pose any problem to the day-to-day functioning of these bodies, as the state government has not held elections to civic bodies in the state for a long time now. The state election commission has scheduled elections to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, Asansol Municipal Corporation and the Chandernagore Municipal Corporation for 22 January.

“Elections to panchayats, municipalities, municipal corporations are long overdue, and TMC is has been running these bodies undemocratically without elections for years. Given this, it is criminal on the part of TMC government to be focusing on election at a time when Covid cases are once again peaking in the state and our healthcare facilities are stretched to the limit,” Mr Bista said in a release today.

“The Mamata Banerjee government has not done anything for the public, and instead of focusing on combating the pandemic, TMC seems to be more focused towards elections. Elections in such critical times could prove to be fatal to public health and safety,” he added. “Our Constituent Assembly envisioned India as a democracy that is of the people, for the people, and by the people. Sadly in West Bengal, our democracy has been subverted to benefit the TMC elites, and our constitution has been sidelined to serve only those who are in power.

Today instead of the government administration, TMC MPs are issuing diktats on which areas to shutdown and which areas to keep open. Following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, the people in Darjeeling hills, Siliguri, Terai,Dooars and entire West Bengal have faced massive problems due to lack of medical infrastructure, healthcare facilities, shortage of trained doctors, nurses and other medical staff,” added Mr Bista, who is also one of the national spokespersons for the BJP.

According to him, although the Bengal Chief Minister herself is the health minister of the state, even after two years, the “sorry state of health infrastructure has remained unchanged.” “There has been no improvement in healthcare facilities in our region between the first and the third wave.

Today, thousands of doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare workers, including police officials, have tested positive in the state,” he said. He said that people are supreme in a democracy and that right now all political parties should be working towards safeguarding public health instead of risking them. “Now is the time to think logically, instead of allowing politics and power to overrule basic commonsense,” Mr Bista said.