As West Bengal is currently tackling the second wave of the Covid-19, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien announced that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not campaign in Kolkata anymore. He also informed that Mamata will hold 30-minute rallies in other districts.
“Mamata Banerjee will not campaign in Kolkata anymore. Only one ‘symbolic’ meeting on the last day of campaigning in the city on April 26. Slashes time for all her election rallies in all districts. Restricted to just 30 minutes,” the senior TMC leader said in a tweet. The decision came Kolkata reported over 2,000 cases alone, the highest in West Bengal. However, reducing the timing of the rallies will not help in curbing the Covid-19 spread.
Mamata’s decision came after Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi announced on Twitter that he is cancelling all his public rallies in West Bengal.“Given 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. Earlier, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) decided not to hold huge rallies due to the Covid-19 spike in West Bengal.
Since the West Bengal Assembly election, the state is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases. Several political parties such as the BJP and the TMC have been found guilty of violating Covid-19 norms.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah will continue holding huge public rallies and roadshows in West Bengal despite a raging pandemic. The BJP has decided to stick to its aggressive campaigning and has mocked Congress for cancelling its rallies.
While BJP will continue its campaign, the Home Minister said that the second wave of the Covid-19 has nothing to do with the election campaign in West Bengal. He also said that there is no hurry to impose a lockdown in the country. However, he did point out in an interview that people attending the Kumbh Mela and Ramadan festivities are not following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, the sixth phase of campaigning in the West Bengal Assembly elections will end today. In the sixth phase, 43 assembly constituencies spread over four districts will go to polls on April 22. The Election Commission had earlier ordered a 72-hour silent period due to rising Covid-19 cases. The BJP and TMC are contesting in all 43 seats. While Congress has fielded 12 candidates, CPIM is contesting in 23 seats.