Modi Cancels Bengal Rallies on 23 April For High-Level COVID Meet
Instead, the PM will address the rallies virtually.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled his election rallies in West Bengal scheduled for 23 April.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister announced that he will be holding a high-level review meeting on the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country, because of which he will not be visiting West Bengal.
West Bengal is currently seeing an eight-phased Assembly election, that started on 27 March and is scheduled to end on 29 April. Results for the election will be declared on 2 May.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to hold four rallies on 23 May in Kolkata, Malda, Murshidabad, and Birbhum.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has informed that he will instead be addressing a virtual rally at 5 pm.
According to news agency ANI, the Prime Minister will review the COVID-19 situation in an internal meeting at 9 am on 23 May. He will then hold a meeting with Chief Ministers of states with high-case burdens at 10 am. After that he's scheduled for a meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers in the country at 12.30 pm.
The Prime Minister's announcement comes amidst nation-wide public outcry at mass political rallies being held in West Bengal as the second wave of the pandemic engulfs the country.
Citizens have criticised top central leaders like the Prime Minister and Home Minister Amit Shah for conducting these rallies.
Shah, who was scheduled to hold three rallies in Bengal today, attended only one. He attended the one in Dinajpur, while skipping the ones in Malda and Murshidabad.
The BJP had also earlier announced that they will be conducting rallies with only 500 people.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that she will be holding no more rallies in Kolkata and also curtail rallies to a duration of 30 minutes or less. However, her rallies in other parts of the state continue.
The Left Front was the first political organisation in the state to cancel all its mass rallies. The Congress' Rahul Gandhi, who has attended just one election rally in the state, has also announced that he will not be campaigning anymore.
Meanwhile the TMC has also written to the Election Commission (EC) to club the remaining phases in the eight-phased election.
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