PM Cancels Bengal Visit Tomorrow, Will Chair High-Level Meetings On Covid

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“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 today.

PM Cancels Bengal Visit Tomorrow, Will Chair High-Level Meetings On Covid

PM Modi will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation.



New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled his visit to Bengal tomorrow to campaign for the ongoing state election, citing meetings to review the Covid situation in the country.

“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 today.

This is the first time the Prime Minister has cancelled a campaign visit to Bengal, where rallies by him, other BJP leaders and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been drawing huge, frightening crowds in the time of Covid. The optics have looked particularly bad for the ruling party.

PM Modi was scheduled to address four election meetings in the state.

On Saturday, PM Modi seemed to praise the large crowd at a rally in Bengal on a day India reported 2.34 lakh Covid cases in a day. “I have come here twice during Lok Sabha elections. Last time I came to seek votes for Babulji (Union Minister Babul Supriyo). The first time I came for myself. But the crowd was only a quarter of this size…” he said.

“… but today, in all directions I see huge crowds of people… have witnessed such a rally for the first time… Today, you have shown your power,” PM Modi added.

Even today, top BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah held public meetings and roadshows in Bengal. So did Mamata Banerjee, who has reduced the duration of her speeches but has not stopped 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. 

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.

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