Amid surge in Covid cases, Mamata not to hold any big rally in Kolkata
Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that she would not organise any big rallies or roadshows in Kolkata to avoid large gatherings. The duration of her rallies would also be reduced.
“I have decided not to hold any big campaign rallies in Kolkata, barring one which would be held at Beadon Street on the last day of campaigning on April 26. It would be a symbolic meeting,” Banerjee said, in an interview to a vernacular news channel on Sunday.
“The party would, however, organise smaller street-corner meetings. I would also bring down the duration of my rallies from one hour to around 30 minutes,” said Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief.
Banerjee has also shot a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging shortage of vaccines, medicines and oxygen.
The highest number of Covid-19 cases in the state has been reported from Kolkata. The city, together with the three adjoining districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Howrah, accounts for nearly 60% of cases that are being reported every day.
West Bengal reported 8,419 new Covid cases on Sunday, the highest daily count in the state since the outbreak in 2020. Kolkata reported around 2,200 cases.
Earlier on Sunday, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also suspended all 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,” Gandhi tweeted.
Last week, the CPIM too had announced that it would not organise big rallies for the remaining phases of the state election and only resort to door-to-door and social media campaign due to the surge in Covid cases.
Last Friday, the Election Commission put a ban on rallies, public meetings, street plays and nukkad sabhas between 7pm and 10am every day. It also increased the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the last three phases.