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West Bengal Assembly Polls: Mamata Banerjee cancels all big rallies in Kolkata amid Covid-19 surge

KOLKATA: Considering the steep rise of Covid cases in the city, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled all ‘big rallies’ in Kolkata and has slashed the timing of the rallies in the districts.

She will be restricting herself in one meeting and fewer gatherings ‘where cases are lower’. She has also urged her party colleagues to scale down their campaign in parts of Kolkata that will go to polls in the next two phases on April 26 and 29.

“Mamata Banerjee will NOT campaign in Kolkata anymore. Only one ‘symbolic’ meeting on the last day of campaigning in the city on April 26. Slashes time for all her election rallies in all districts. Restricted to just 30 minutes,” Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said in a tweet.

The Chief Minister also said that she would hold a ‘symbolic rally’ on the 26th of this month at Kolkata’s Beadon street. Meanwhile it should be mentioned that most of the seats in Kolkata will have its election on the 26th and 29th — in the seventh and the eighth phase of the election.

The Chief Minister has directed Chief Secretary Alapaon Bandopadhayay to take all measures to control the spread of the disease in the state.

“With the massive surge in #COVID19 cases across India, GoWB is taking all necessary steps to protect its people. I’ve reached out to the PM to help us with additional medicines and vaccines required. I have also directed all the top officials to make elaborate arrangements & step up their efforts at every level to deal with #COVID19 situation in WB. The Chief Secretary along with key officials will be doing a Press conference at 2PM to discuss the details of the plan,” the Chief Minister wrote in her official Twitter handle.

On Sunday, Mamata wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, flagging doctors’ concerns about “extremely scarce and uncertain” supplies of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, two key medicines used to treat Covid-19. She also urged him to look into the “scarce and erratic” flow of vaccines into the state and ensure steady oxygen supply.

The Chief Minister identified three areas that she said required the PM’s intervention “to scale up our capabilities to tackle the pandemic on a war footing”. She put availability of vaccines first, saying “focused and aggressive vaccination” was of critical importance, particularly in Kolkata due to its “high population density”.

Stating that Bengal had been among the “best performers” in the initial phases of the vaccination programme, Mamata said the state was “now suffering” for no fault of her government. She also demanded PM Modi’s resignation over the nationwide Covid spike. Accusing Modi of misleading the nation and not planning, Mamata said: “All he says is he has to win Bengal.”

Source: IANS

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