From our respected Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in an elated manner exclaiming and bragging in an election rally in West Bengal, ”ki main jahan dekh sakta hoon, mujhe log hi log dikhte hain baqi kuch dikhta hi nahi hai”, to BJP giving a public statement that they will not hold ‘big rallies’ in the state due to rising Covid cases, BJP’s campaigning strategy in West Bengal has been a controversial one.
Our PM’s remarks while campaigning in Asansol on the 17th of April 2021, the remark aforementioned, gathered a lot of adverse opinion from the members of other political parties involved in West Bengal 2021 Elections. To this Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “this is also the first time when such huge crowds of sick people and the record number of deaths have been seen”, and it is true. That remark from our PM came at a time when India was suffering from the worst spike in cases ever, more than 2 lakh cases and 1000+ deaths were recorded for three consecutive days. When the PM of the country was busy boasting the number of people gathered for his election campaign, most medical facilities in India was running low on important equipment to save a citizen’s life.
The second in command, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also seen holding massive road-shows in Krishnanagar with the party workers and most supporters totally violating the Covid-19 norms and protocol and all of this was happening at a time when thousands of people were dying and lacs were infected due to an infectious disease.
West Bengal on the 19th of April 2021 recorded about 8426 cases, Kolkata alone witnessed its highest one day spike with 2211 cases followed by 1801 cases in North 24 Parganas.“This second wave is worse than the first. The samples have a high positivity rate.” said Shanta Dutta, Director of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (Niced). The conditions have gone from bad to worse as on the 21st of April, West Bengal crossed the 10,000 marks for the first time and recorded 10, 784 fresh cases along with 58 deaths in the last 24 hours.
BJP announced this Monday that they will not allow more than 500 people in the PM or other campaigner’s rallies amid the rising number of cases in the state and country.
But what’s the point? This decision came after the damage had already been done. Congress and CPIM both had announced a week ago that they will not be conducting any big rallies in the state of West Bengal due to the rising number of cases in the country. Mamta Banerjee also had demanded that the elections of the last three phases be clubbed together and conducted in a single day but it was the BJP, and of course, the Election Commission which stood against the suggestion.
It would not be very wrong to conclude that the onus of West Bengal’s latest collapse in terms of Covid-19 cases and deaths, if not totally but at least significantly falls on the back of Bhartiya Janta Party.