A day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi cancelled all his election-related programmes in West Bengal, the state chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, on Monday (April 19) called off all her public meetings in Kolkata.
According to the party she would now be holding a symbolic meeting on the last day of electioneering in the final phase of polling. As per the earlier schedule she was to address more than a dozen public meetings in the next one week.
Polling for the rest 114 Assembly constituencies would take place on April 22, 26 and 29.
The decision came a day after Mamata wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that West Bengal needs to vaccinate 2.7 crore people and thus urgently requires 5.4 crore doses of the vaccine at the earliest.
Mamata also said that she had written to the Prime Minister on February 24 asking that the state be allowed to purchase vaccine directly with its fund, but was yet to get the requisite clearance.
That was just two days before the announcement of election dates by the Election Commission on February 26.
She attributed the rise in number of corona virus cases to the arrival of a large number of people from outside the state for election campaign. Though she didn’t take the name of any political party the reference was obvious. Mamata has, in election meetings, repeatedly been criticising PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah for the surge in corona virus cases in West Bengal.
When Rahul called off all his election meetings in West Bengal, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat mocked at him. The BJP, which is going full steam with its campaign, is yet to respond to Mamata’s latest move.
Prime Minister Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah are to address several election meetings in the next few days.