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Coronavirus | Rahul Gandhi cancels election rallies in West Bengal

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced the suspension of his political rallies in West Bengal because of the COVID-19 situation and appealed to other parties to reconsider organising large gatherings.

Mr. Gandhi's move is likely to put pressure on other parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress.

“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,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Applause & respect. Lives are too important to be risked in rallies”.

Mr. Gandhi's move also comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come under some criticism on social media for appreciating large crowds at his rally in West Bengal's Asansol (West Bardhaman district) despite an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.

Targeting Mr. Modi for referring to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as “Didi-o-Didi” at his public rallies, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “Is this the manner in which a prime minister should refer to a chief minister? I cannot imagine a Jawaharlal Nehru or a Morarji Desai or a Vajpayee speaking that language”.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 5:08:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-surge-rahul-gandhi-cancels-his-west-bengal-rallies/article34349184.ece

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