Newly appointed Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil cancelled a car rally scheduled on Friday in Surat to welcome him after he saw pictures of a huge crowd gathered at Valak.
The Surat city BJP unit had made elaborate preparations to welcome Paatil. A truck was decked up with flowers and posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president J P Nadda, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and other BJP leaders were put vehicles with slogans welcoming Paatil.
On Friday afternoon, after landing in Surat city, when Paatil found out about the crowd waiting for him at Valak Patia, he reportedly called up Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala and other BJP leaders and told them to cancel the rally.
Talking to The Indian Express, Paatil said, “When I saw those pictures, I was apprehensive. Though the supporters and members were maintaining social distancing, but I didn’t want to take a chance amid the pandemic. So, I decided to cancel the rally. With so many people together at a place, chances of violation of social distancing norms would have been more.”
“It is natural that people are enthusiastic because I am arriving here for the first time after being appointed as the state unit president. Our party leaders, workers and many of my friends would want to meet me, but given the situation now, it will be better if we avoid any kind of personal meeting, be it in my office or at my home. I am planning to tour all the wards in Surat city where I will meet party workers and leaders personally. I have told Navsari BJP unit to cancel Navsari rally as well scheduled on Saturday.”
Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala said, “It was Paatil’s decision to cancel the rally, keeping in mind the present Covid-19 pandemic.”
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