The Congress on Wednesday postponed all political rallies and programmes in poll-bound States, including Uttar Pradesh, citing worsening Covid pandemic situation in the country and growing alarm that these events could emerge as super-spreader events.
AICC sources said senior party leaders at AICC talked to all the State Unit leaders and took the decision in view of public safety particularly in the poll-bound States of UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The AICC asked all PCCs in the poll-bound States to assess the situation in their respective States and take a call.
AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal said the party had asked its state units to assess the on-ground situation and decide whether or not to proceed with planned political events.
“The Congress has decided to postpone major rallies in UP and other poll-bound states. We have asked state units to assess the Covid-19 situation in their states and then take a decision on holding rallies,” Venugopal stated. The Congress’ state election committee has also written to Chief Election Commissioner Sushil sChandra to “cancel big rallies in view of the anticipated third Covid wave”.
The latest decision comes after scenes from UP’s Bareilly district, where hundreds of women and teen girls were without masks during a party event and there was nearly a stampede. Hundreds of women and teen girls were seen without masks at a marathon organised by the Congress as part of its “ladki hun, lad sakti hun” election campaign.
Former party chief Rahul Gandhi had cancelled all his public meetings when Assembly elections were going on in West Bengal amid the peak of the second wave of pandemic last April.
“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,” Rahul had tweeted then.
Rahul took to social media to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who praised the people of West Bengal for turning up in large numbers for his political rally in Asansol. Modi has said he wanted to register a “complaint” against the people as he came to the city twice before, during the Lok Sabha elections, but had never before seen such a huge crowd.
In response to this, Rahul then mentioned so many sick people and such high numbers of deaths were also a first.