New Delhi: Noting that COVID safety norms were being flouted in West Bengal during campaigning, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday banned road shows and vehicle rallies in the state with immediate effect and said no public gatherings with more than 500 people would be allowed.

The order said the EC has noted “with anguish” that many political parties and candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during the public gatherings.

The orders came into force from 7 pm on Thursday.

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