With West Bengal reeling under the pressure of tackling the second wave of the novel coronavirus, TMC MP Derek O’Brien, late on Sunday, announced that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be campaigning in Kolkata anymore.
“On April 26, she will only hold a symbolic meeting on the last day of campaigning in the state capital. Besides this, the Chief Minister has also decided to hold rallies for not more than 30 minutes in other districts as well,” the senior TMC leader said.
Mamata Banerjee will NOT campaign in Kolkata anymore. Only one ‘symbolic’ meeting on the last day of campaigning in the city on April 26.
Slashes time for all her election rallies in all districts. Restricted to just 30 minutes. #BengalElection2021 #Covid
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) April 18, 2021
West Bengal has seen a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases. The number of cases soared to 6,59,927 as the state registered its highest single-day spike of 8,419 fresh infections on Sunday, the state health department’s bulletin informed.
The TMC supremo herself, while addressing a poll rally on Sunday, had said that her party would organise small meetings in Kolkata and she would give short speeches in rallies in districts where polling would be held in the remaining three phases.
The party had last week requested the Election Commission to club the remaining phases of the assembly elections into one in view of the intensifying Covid-19 situation.
The decision comes barely hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on Sunday that he is suspending all his public rallies in West Bengal in view of the Covid situation in the state. “I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” Rahul had said.