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Making arrangements to ensure COVID guidelines are followed in PM Modi's rallies: BJP

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New Delhi, Apr 16: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address two poll rallies in West Bengal on Saturday, BJP sources said the party has been taking adequate measures to ensure that social distancing is maintained and people attending them wear masks.

The sources said that chairs for the rallies' participants have been placed at adequate distance in every block of the two venues so that social distancing is followed. It will be ensured that everyone entering the rally venues wears a mask, they said. "Our teams have been working to this effect," a source said.

PM Modi

Amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases across the country, the Election Commission (EC) asked political parties on Friday to ensure "absolute" adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in letter and sprit.

"Violations, if any shall be sternly dealt with and action, including criminal action, taken as per extant legal framework," it said.

Second wave of COVID-19 can last up to 100 days: Expert's advisorySecond wave of COVID-19 can last up to 100 days: Expert's advisory

The EC said it will be the responsibility of the organisers of public meetings, rallies, to provide masks and sanitisers to every person attending these events at their cost "which shall be added and counted within limits of prescribed expenditure."

The COVID-19 tally in West Bengal mounted to 6,43,795 on Friday after the highest- single-day spike of 6,910 new cases was reported in the state, the health department said in a bulletin.

The EC also invoked is constitutional powers to put in place restrictions on campaigning by political parties, including curtailing its time, for the West Bengal assembly elections.

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