Amid the West Bengal elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi announced that he has called off all the rallies that were scheduled in the state as cases continue to rise at an unprecedented pace. He also urged other political leaders to consider the same. Voting in three of the eight phases is yet to be held. Gandhi had earlier taken a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assembling a large crowd in his rally.
"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 said in a tweet.
In view of the Covid situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 18, 2021
I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances.
Taking a dig at the PM, who praised the people of West Bengal for turning up in large numbers for his rally on Saturday, Gandhi said, "Beemaro aur mritako ki bhi itni bhir pehli baar dekhi hai #rallies." (I can also see such large numbers of diseased and deceased for the first time)
He was referring to what PM Modi had said during his rally at Asansol. "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.
Gandhi has been criticising the Modi government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. He said, "Central government's COVID politics: Stage 1: Impose a Tughlaqi lockdown. Stage 2: Ring bells. Stage 3: Sing praises of the Lord."
At another time, taking a dig at Tika Utsav, he tweeted, "No tests, no beds in hospitals, no ventilators, neither oxygen nor vaccines, just the facade of a festival. PM Cares?"