West Bengal elections: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cancels all public rallies due to Covid-19 surge

West Bengal reported 6,910 new infections and 26 deaths just ahead of the voting in the fifth phase. Many political parties have been caught flouting Covid norms at rallies
Rahul Gandhi
Rahul GandhiTwitter

When parties are continuing to hold political rallies in West Bengal amid the Covid-19 surge, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has announced on Twitter that he is cancelling all his public rallies in West Bengal.

“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 said.

Since the West Bengal Assembly election, the state is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases. West Bengal reported 6,910 new infections and 26 deaths just ahead of the voting in the fifth phase. Several political parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) have been found guilty of violating Covid-19 norms. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is holding huge rallies and roadshows despite a raging pandemic.

Many people attending these rallies have been seen not wearing masks and following social distancing norms. While the Election Commission (EC) reduced the timing of the campaign for the remaining phases of the election and placed a 72-hour silence period for each polling phase. While TMC has asked the EC to club the remaining phases into one, many political parties, especially the BJP were against the idea. Despite the EC asking that Covid-19 guidelines are followed at rallies, the political parties continue to disobey.

Meanwhile, India has recorded its biggest daily surge with 2,61,500 cases, taking the caseload to 1.47 crore total cases. The country also reported 1,501 deaths – the deadliest single-day spike in deaths.

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