Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today announced that he has suspended all public rallies in West Bengal in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the country. He has also advised all party leaders to think about the consequences of holding large public rallies during the fresh wave of coronavirus. “In view of the Covid situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal. I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” he wrote on Twitter.
In view of the Covid situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal.
I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 18, 2021
Campaigning has been going on in West Bengal, where three phases of polling are yet to take place on April 22, 26 and 29. However, rising infection cases in the country has evoked sharp reactions from people who now want political leaders to stop mass public gatherings during rallies and road shows. The BJP and TMC have been holding rallies despite raging Covid-19 cases in Bengal.
The state election commission recently held an all-party meeting and asked them to follow social distancing norms during rallies. The commission has also banned campaigning from 7 pm to 10 am. The poll body has increased the silence period from 48 to 72 hours. The TMC has been demanding the clubbing of the remaining three phases, but the BJP wants voting as planned.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Home Minister Amit Shah said that elections had nothing to do with rising cases in the country. He said Maharashtra did not have any election but it recorded the highest cases in the last few days. He also said Bengal has reported much less cases than those states where elections were not happening.
India has recorded its highest even single day spike of over 2.6 lakh cases ever since that pandemic began.