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West Bengal Election Live: Polling underway at Booth number 263 in Darjeeling during the fifth phase
West Bengal Election Live: Voters queue up to cast their votes as 5th phase of polling begins; visuals from Kamarhati
Meanwhile, a controversy erupted yesterday after the BJP released a purported audio clip in which Wes Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is heard telling the Trinamool Congress nominee of Sitalkuchi to hold rallies with bodies of the four persons killed in CISF firing during polling on April 10. Claiming that such a conversation never took place, the TMC described the audio clip as “bogus” and wondered whether the Centre is tapping a chief ministers phone. On the other hand, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the EC has curtailed period of campaigning. The Election Commission on Friday invoked is constitutional powers to put in place restrictions on campaigning by political parties, including curtailing its time, for the West Bengal assembly elections. In an order, the poll panel curtailed the time for campaign up to 7 pm. Earlier it was up to 10 pm. “No rallies, public meetings, street plays, nukkad sabhas, shall be allowed on any day during the days of campaign between 7 pm and 10 am with effect from 7 pm of April 16,” the order said. It also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three of the eight phases of the West Bengal polls to be held on April 22, 26 and 29. The fifth phase is on Saturday.