Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she would ideally want the Election Commission to put on hold by-poll campaigns for 10 days from October 10 as people would be busy celebrating the biggest annual festival with fervour.

By-elections to four assembly constituencies — Kharadaha, Shantipur, Dinhata and Gosaba — are scheduled to be held on October 30.

“I wish the Election Commission puts on hold all by-poll campaigns during Durga puja and Lakshmi puja. People will be in festive mood. They shouldn’t be disturbed. Campaigns can commence from October 21 for a week,” Banerjee told reporters at Nabanna.

The CM also said that the poll panel has not objected to the government’s decision to grant an allowance of Rs 50,000 to every puja committee, and money would be disbursed soon.

However, as directed by the EC, the state has decided to put off the implementation of Lakshmir Bhandar scheme in districts where by-elections will take place on October 30.

“Mothers will be receiving Lakhsmir Bhandar benefits from November again. They will get two months’ dole together next month,” she said.

The chief minister further requested the people to follow the high court order, which has banned entry of visitors to pandals to check the spread of COVID-19.

“Please follow COVID-19 protocols. You can enjoy even without entering pandals,” the CM added.

Also read: Sikkim reports 25 new COVID-19 cases, one more fatality

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