Supporters of the West Bengal Chief Minister an Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee attend an election campaign rally ahead of the fourth phase of the assembly election, amid the spread of COVID-19 in Kolkata on April 7, 2021. (Image: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri)
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has banned all victory processions on or after the counting of votes for the assembly elections in five states that will be declared on May 2.
EC has said that a detailed order will be released soon.
West Bengal Election 2021 LIVE Updates
The order comes a day after Madras High Court lashed out at the Election Commission over the conduct of assembly polls amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice S Ramamoorthy termed the poll authority as most irresponsible while hearing a public interest writ seeking directions to ensure fair counting of votes on May 2 in Karur by taking steps to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Track this LIVE blog for latest updates on coronavirus pandemic
"Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably," the Chief Justice had said.
Tamil Nadu along with Kerala and Puducherry voted for a new assembly on April 6, which was also the day the third and final phase of voting was held in Assam.
Read: Madras HC says Election Commission responsible for COVID-19 second wave, officials should probably be booked for murder
The seventh phase of voting for the West Bengal assembly is being held on April 26, with the final round planned for April 29. Votes in these states will be counted on May 2.
Meanwhile, India is witnessing an unprecedented second wave of pandemic with more than 3 lakh daily new cases being reported in the past few days, which has crippled the country's health care system. The second COVID-19 wave has triggered a shortage of hospital beds, medical oxygen and medicines.
India's daily rise in coronavirus cases retreated from record levels on April 27, but stayed above the 300,000 mark for a sixth straight day.
With 323,144 new cases, India's overall caseload now stands at 17.64 million. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 2,771 to reach a total of 197,894, according to health ministry data.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic