'If Netas Could Hear...': Amid Covid Surge, Stampede-Like Chaos at Cong's UP Rally, Leader Says 'Human Nature'

‘If Netas Could Hear…’: Amid Covid Surge, Stampede-Like Chaos at Cong’s UP Rally, Leader Says ‘Human Nature’


One of India’s top doctors on Tuesday suggested citizens to wear double masks and distribute N95s if possible as “we are dealing with a variant that spreads like wildfire”. Reacting to Dr Arvinder Singh Soin advice, a Twitter user said, “If only our politicians could hear you.” Suggestions and reactions started pouring in after several top politicians, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BJP’s Manoj Tiwari, Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey and TMC’s Babul Supriyo, informed on the micro-blogging site that they had tested positive for Covid-19.

India has been witnessing a resurge in coronavirus cases amid the poll season. Leaders from various political parties have been holding rallies as high-stakes Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections inch closer.

A marathon, ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon‘, organised by the Congress in UP’s Bareilly on Tuesday, as part of the party’s “women can fight” campaign for polls, saw a stampede of sorts. Another shocking highlight of the event was the marathon participants — hundreds of women and teenage girls — most of whom were mask-less.

Congress leaders in Lucknow termed it a conspiracy hatched by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government. “Some girls have been injured, and we are waiting for further details,” state Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh was quoted as saying by PTI. Alleging that it was a “conspiracy hatched by the BJP government” in the state, he said, “The district administration knew that the run was being held and did not cooperate.” The incident was a “fallout of laxity on the part of the local administration”, Singh added.

“The district administration did not cooperate as far as the issue of security was concerned and the entire incident smells of a conspiracy hatched by the BJP,” the Congress leader said.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut too was spotted without a mask an event in Nashik recently. When questioned on Covid-19 protocol, Raut claimed he was following the prime minister’s ‘example’.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells people to wear mask, but he himself doesn’t wear one. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wears mask, but Modi is the leader of the nation. I follow the prime minister and therefore, I do not wear a mask, and even people do not wear masks,” the lawmaker had said.

Even at Union home minister Amit Shah’s recent rally in UP’s Moradabad, masks were missing. Not a single person could be spotted wearing a mask or following physical distancing.

As the threat of coronavirus and the fast-spreading Omicron variant looms over polls, the state election commission has said that it would not allow large political rallies or road shows and would allow small teams of up to five political workers including the candidate for door-to-door campaigns.

The new guidelines announced last week keeping in view the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, also placed restrictions on the number of people allowed in a political party’s campaign meeting as well as banned various forms of campaigning from 8pm to 9 am.

SEC statement said a maximum number of 200 persons, or 50 per cent of seating capacity of the hall, will be allowed in a political party meeting conducted in a conference hall. The state poll panel said permission for public meeting, if granted already, is allowed as per the revised guideline of the commission.

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