Rahul Gandhi suspends all his rallies in West Bengal in view of Covid-19
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cancelled all his public meetings in West Bengal, where voting in three of the eight-phase assembly election is yet to be held, hours after taking a jibe at PM Modi for assembling large crowds at his rallies.
"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 tweeted. He has held only two rallies in the state so far and was scheduled to campaign in Malda and Murshidabad districts before the sixth phase of elections on April 22.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to take a dig at PM Modi, who praised the people of West Bengal for turning up in large numbers for his political rally on Saturday. Addressing a rally in Asansol, PM Modi said he wanted to register a "complaint" against the people as he came to the city twice before, during the Lok Sabha elections, but had never before seen such a huge crowd.
"I have come here twice during the Lok Sabha elections. When I was becoming the Prime Minister and sought your vote. Last time, I came here to seek votes for Babulji (Union minister Babul Supriyo). The first time I came to ask for your votes for myself. But the crowd was only a quarter of this size. But today, I see huge crowds of people in all directions... Today, you have shown your power and I can see a wave of people everywhere I see,” PM Modi said.
In response to this, Rahul Gandhi said so many sick people and such high numbers of deaths were also a first. "This is also the first time when such huge crowds of sick people and a record number of deaths have been seen,” his tweet, roughly translated from Hindi, read.
West Bengal, like the rest of the country, has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases in the recent weeks. The total number of cases in the state went up to 6,51,508 after it recorded 7,713 fresh cases on Saturday. The state's death toll due to the virus stands at 10,540.
Voting in Phase 6, 7 and 8 of the West Bengal assembly election will be conducted on April 22, 26 and 29 respectively. Votes will be counted on May 2.