WB Polls: BJP Decides to Restrict Rally, Meeting Crowds to 500

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The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Monday, 19 April, announced that it will stop holding large rallies, gatherings and meetings for the West Bengal Assembly elections, capping the attendance at 500, in the light of rising COVID-19 cases.

The party stated that smaller public meetings would be held in open spaces and with COVID-19 guidelines in place. In a statement on Monday, the party said it will distribute six crore masks and sanitisers in West Bengal.

The party asserted that constitutional and democratic obligations must be fulfilled, given that assembly polls were underway in the state.

The move comes in the wake of political parties being criticized for holding massive rallies in West Bengal as India faces a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of cases scaling new heights each day.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, 18 April, had announced that he would be suspending all political rallies in West Bengal due to rising COVID cases

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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee will also not be campaigning in Kolkata for the ongoing assembly elections anymore, according to All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien in a tweet on Sunday, 19 April.

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West Bengal still has three phases of the polls due. Meanwhile, since the elections have begun in the state, the COVID cases have shot up by 22 times.

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