Ex-Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes to ECI to ban all rallies in Bengal
New Delhi/UNI: Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Sunday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to immediately ban political rallies and door-to-door campaign in poll-bound Bengal to prevent Covid outburst.
In his letter, Gandhi asked the ECI to direct all parties to switch to a virtual campaign in Bengal where three more phases of eight phase polling are still left with the last phase on April 29.
“Please consider placing an immediate ban on all public rallies and door-to-door campaigning in the State till the last vote has been cast on April 29. And direct them to move to virtual campaigning. It should not be said that India’s electoral democracy and India’s public health are out of harmony,” he wrote in his letter.
Gandhi said the electoral democracy and public health should not be “out of harmony”.
The SOPs of Covid-19, the veteran leader pointed, are being violated as there is no social distancing and very few are seen wearing a face mask during the campaigning.
“Social distancing, a desideratum in the fight against the virus, is out of the question in election rallies. But very few candidates and campaigners, if any, are to be seen wearing masks either,” Gandhi said.
“They are subjecting themselves and those they come in contact with, to great, in fact, potentially fatal, risk,” he added.
On Saturday, West Bengal recorded the highest single-day spike of 7,713 Covid-19 cases and 32 deaths as per the state health department.
Earlier in the day, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced that he has canceled all the scheduled rallies in Bengal due to the rise in Covid cases and urged other political parties to do the same.