BJP limits rallies to 500 people in West Bengal amid surge in Covid-19 cases
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday decided to limit the number of people to 500 at election rallies in West Bengal due to recent surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. The party decided that rallies held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other central ministers will be held in open spaces following Covid-19 preventative measures.
BJP president JP Nadda in virtual meeting with BJP party workers said that they should work towards ensuring that every booth is coronavirus free and asked them to set up Covid-19 helplines in every state in order to help people. During the meeting the party also set the objective to distribute 60 million masks and sanitisers in West Bengal.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to hold rallies in Murshidabad, South Kolkata, Siuri and Maldaon on April 23.
The party faced criticism from the main electoral rival Trinamool Congress as well parties in the opposition for holding large rallies in West Bengal. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sharply criticised PM Modi and held him responsible for recent spike in cases. Banerjee while addressing a rally at Nadia's Kaliaganj said, "Why did not you (Prime Minister) make plans to stop corona in the last 6 months?... You have to answer this. The Prime Minister is responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. If he would have taken responsibility at the right time then this would not have happened." Banerjee also requested the Election Commission (EC) to club the rest of the three phases of the West Bengal assembly polls due to Covid-19.
After the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday, P Chidambaram said holding rallies in West Bengal is not the right thing to do when the nation is facing a second wave of Covid-19. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also cancelled his rallies in Bengal due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Campaigning for Phase 6 which are scheduled to be held on April 22 of polls ended on Monday. The state has already held five phases of polling. The votes will be counted on May 2.