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In digital campaign, Left Front uses the telephone too

“However, in view of the prevailing Covid situation, we have asked the candidates to talk to the voters over the phone. Our campaigns on the digital platform are underway with great aplomb. One’s own health and that of the others should be a priority,”

SANKHA GHOSH | Siliguri |

Apart from digital campaigning for the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) elections, the Left Front has also focused on poll candidates calling voters over the phone and talking to them, so as to avoid gatherings in view of the Covid-19 situation.

Siliguri, like other parts of the state, has seen a steady rise in Covid-19 cases, with some election candidates of the Trinamul Congress and an Independent candidate already testing positive for the virus. “From the beginning, we have stressed on strictly adhering to the Covid protocol. We have said that only a few workers will conduct door-to-door campaigns.

In the workers’ meetings, we have ensured that the physical distancing norm is maintained properly, and they should wear masks properly. We have observed how the ruling party violated the Covid guidelines during their campaigns. However, in view of the prevailing Covid situation, we have asked the candidates to talk to the voters over the phone. Our campaigns on the digital platform are underway with great aplomb. One’s own health and that of the others should be a priority,” said Darjeeling district Left Front convener Jibesh Sarkar.

The SMC will go to the polls on 12 February. Many candidates, meanwhile, said they had been calling upvoters. Former urban development minister and Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya, who is contesting the elections in Ward 6, said he is making around 20 calls daily. “I am making around 15-20 calls daily as part of the campaign. With one call, I can talk to around three-four persons at one go,” Mr Bhattacharya said.

According to him, he has ensured that only 5-7 persons visit people’s houses. “Sometimes, it goes down to two-three persons. I have even addressed street corner meetings with around five-seven party workers only. We have desisted from holding big rallies because people are not in favour of this,” Mr Bhattacharya said.

On the other hand, Darjeeling district Trinamul Congress (Plains) president Papiya Ghosh has also urged party candidates contesting the upcoming local body elections, political workers, and the general public to exercise extreme caution during the campaigns. She has appealed to all to follow the health department’s directions.

“At the same time, they should not panic,” Ms Ghosh said. Public health specialists have already cautioned each individual about remaining careful. “Social media can be used to the maximum extent possible for the campaigns. Those with symptoms of fever, cough, and sore throat should not go for campaigning. Residents with these symptoms should also not meet the poll campaigners. Instead of entering homes, voters and campaigners should be interacting from outside,” said a health expert.