Corona surge in Bihar: politics takes back seat; Cong, BJP too shut offices

·3-min read

Patna, Apr 16 (PTI) The BJP and the Congress in Bihar have also shut their party offices after the JD(U) and the RJD in view of the resurgence in coronavirus cases in the state and other parts of the country.

With large number of infections surfacing every passing day, political parties in Bihar have also decided to halt their activities for the time being.

The parties will attend a virtual meeting called by Governor Phagu Chauhan on the COVID-19 situation on April 17, Raj Bhavan sources said on Friday.

'The BJP office has been closed because of the COVID situation. If needed, we will hold online meetings of the office bearers,' state party general secretary Devesh Kumar told PTI.

He said there is no timeline for how long it will be closed.

'We will keep a watch over the situation and make a decision on reopening of party offices, after assessing the COVID scenario,' said Kumar, an MLC.

The Bihar Congress on Friday announced closure of its state headquarters Sadaquat Ashram and offices in the districts for an indefinite period.

'Party offices from state to district level will be closed till the COVID situation normalises in Bihar,' state Congress spokesman Rajesh Rathor said in a statement.

Bihar Congress president Madan Jha, who himself is recuperating at home after testing positive for the virus, told PTI that since the all-party meeting convened by the governor is through video conference, he will take part in it.

Jha said that at the meeting, he will put forth the party's view that more measures are required to rein in infections hurtling through the state.

While the JD(U) had shut its state headquarters here from Thursday till April 20, the RJD locked its office from April 15 till further orders following the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

Both the parties have put up notices to this effect on the main gates of their state headquarters on Bir Chand Patel Marg in the heart of the city.

JD(U) spokesman Arvind Nishad said that the notice outside the party headquarters has the telephone numbers of office bearers so that someone in need can contact them.

The coronavirus situation is becoming grim in Bihar where infections are multiplying substantially every passing day.

The state reported 6,133 fresh COVID cases and 24 new deaths on Thursday.

The total caseload has mounted to 3,01,304, while the death toll has reached 1,675. Patna district has the maximum number of cases at 66,913.

Social Welfare minister Madan Sahni, Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Home Chaitanya Prasad and Principal Secretary Finance S Siddarth are among the long list of infected persons in Bihar.

RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwary demanded that the state government 'wake up from slumber' and arrange for more beds and enhance the supply of oxygen for COVID patients.

He also urged the state government to pitch tents in the Gandhi Maidan here and sports stadiums as it had done during the Prakash Parb, the birth anniversary celebration of Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, in 2016 to accommodate COVID patients.