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Published On: Thu, Apr 22nd, 2021

PM Narendra Modi cancels his final West Bengal election rally

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pm-modi-pti4-1619102427NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled his final poll campaign rally scheduled for tomorrow in West Bengal. He will be chairing a high-level meeting tomorrow over COVID-19 situation. “Tomorrow, will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Due to that, I would not be going to West Bengal,” he said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cancelled his visit to Bengal on Friday to campaign for the ongoing state election citing urgent meetings to review the Covid situation in the country. Home Minister Amit Shah also cut short his campaign, cancelling two of his three Bengal meetings to return to Delhi for a meeting on Covid. According to the BJP, all its top leaders have called off the rest of their campaign in Bengal.
“Tomorrow, will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Due to that, I would not be going to West Bengal,” PM Modi tweeted, effectively ending his campaign in Bengal, which will vote in three more rounds before the election results on May 2.

In a statement, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “The Prime Minister has had to cancel his visit to Bengal on April 23, in which he was scheduled to address four rallies across four districts and 56 Assembly constituencies.” “BJP Bengal unit and the voters of West Bengal were looking forward to his visit but we realise the gravity of the situation and the rationale for him not being able to make it in person.

” PM Modi agrees to address virtual rally in Bengal ahead of seventh phase “We have since requested the Prime Minister to address the entire constituency at one time through a virtual address and we are pleased to confirm that he has agreed to do so.” According to Ghosh, the Prime Minister will be addressing voters, particularly of Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum and Kolkata, through a virtual medium at 5 pm on April 23.

Rallies by the PM, other BJP leaders and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been drawing huge, frightening crowds in Bengal in the time of Covid. The optics have looked particularly bad for the ruling party when Covid cases have been rocketing. This morning, India reported a global high of 3.14 lakh cases in a day and over 2,000 deaths.
Even today, top BJP leaders held public meetings and roadshows in Bengal. So did Mamata Banerjee, who reduced the duration of her speeches but did not stop campaigning as she fights for a third straight term against a strong challenge from the BJP. Criticised for keeping up its outsized rallies despite the raging infections, the BJP said it would limit the number of people to 500 and the PM’s meetings for Saturday were clubbed with his Friday campaign.
PM Modi has held a series of meetings this week as spiraling Covid cases in the country threaten to overwhelm health care facilities in several states. He has met with state health officials, vaccine manufacturers and pharma companies. Today, he chaired a meeting on the snowballing oxygen crisis that has seen states bickering with states and states sparring with the Centre over supplies.
(Agency Inputs with Bureau Report).

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