The Election Commission of India today asked the West Bengal chief secretary, DGP and commissioner of Kolkata Police to take strict action against those violating Covid protocols during campaigning for the state Assembly elections, and and invoke Disaster Management Act (DMA) where necessary to curb the menace and book those flouting norms with impunity.

The move comes following a meeting chaired by the CEO who had discussed the issue of strict maintenance of Covid protocols, among other issues, in the remaining two phases of polling in West Bengal. The meeting was attended by CEO Aariz Aftab, chief secretary west Bengal and DGP and CP Kolkata Police.

In the meeting held today, the CEO asked the chief secretary to ensure smooth conduct of polling with strict adherence to Covid protocols in the seventh and the eighth phases of the election. Sources said the Election Commission has already started clamping down on erring leaders of the political parties organising meetings in violation of the Covid protocols and restrictions issued by the Election Commission.

According to data available with the CEO’s office as many as 89 show cause notices had been served on erring leaders of various political parties responsible for organising meetings throwing Covid norms imposing a limit of 500 people at such meetings to the winds. The sources also said that 39 FIRs had been filed against members of the parties concerned.

Action has been initiated against office bearers of some political parties belonging to districts like Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum and North Dinajpur. Meanwhile, the Election Commission today said that voters above the age of 80 and people with disabilities (PWD) would be able to avail Uber cab services for casting their ballots in their respective Assembly constituencies.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the cab operator under which the 80+ voters and PWD voters can avail the services after calling up phone number 1950 to register their names.