India, May 14 -- The Election Commission has directed the police to close all community clubs located within 200 metres of polling stations in Kolkata and Salt Lake for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections. Opposition party leaders have said that the step would achieve little and said a complete ban on all clubs in all the nine constituencies would perhaps be effective.

Community clubs that are present in almost all neighbourhoods in Kolkata are often used as decentralised war rooms by political parties. On voting day, there have been reports of weapons being stored in these clubs.

"On Monday evening, deputy election commissioner, Sudeep Jain instructed officers of Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar City Police that the clubs should not...