Barring victory rallies up to local administration: EC

Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) The Election Commission on Friday said it was upto the local administrations to decide whether to ban victory rallies after assembly poll results are declared.

Quizzed on the district administration barring victory rallies in apprehension of post-poll violence, state chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta told the media: “The Commission’s mandate extends till the counting and end of poll process. Any steps after that will be taken by local administration.”

“The Commission has no specific mandate on victory rallies. Usually we have seen the district administration, as per convention, issues prohibitions on rallies for a certain period after the results are out, to ensure law and order,” said additional chief electoral officer Dibyendu Sarkar.

The six-phase, staggered assembly polls began in Bengal on April 4 and concluded May 5. The results will be declared on May 19.

On Friday, Gupta held a review meeting with district magistrates on preparedness ahead of counting.

He said as many as 294 counting observers – one for each constituency – will be deployed in West Bengal next week for the vote count.



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