As the Union Ministry asked states to step up vigilance amidst rising cases of Covid-19 in China, opposition parties in Karnataka and Maharashtra have called it an effort by the Centre to stop their respective ongoing ‘yatras’.
The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to follow proper COVID norms in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. In a letter, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asked Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Rahul Gandhi to ensure masks and sanitizers are provided, only vaccinated individuals participate in the yatra, and ensure COVID guidelines are strictly followed.
In response to this, the Uddhav Thakeray faction of Shiv Sena in an editorial in its party mouthpiece Saaamna said “Shri Rahul Gandhi has completed 100 days of the yatra and it is receiving great public support. And as they could not stop the Bharat Jodo yatra using laws or conspiracies, it looks like the central government has released the Covid-19 virus”.
The editorial also says that ‘it is surprising that the Union Minister who has asked for the Bharat Jodo yatra to be adjourned, didnt think that the Prime MInister’s crowded road show in Gujarat could lead to a surge in Covid cases’.
In conclusion, the editorial questions how the central government that has ‘issued notifications to Rahul Gandhi’s yatra’ is preparing to control the crowds that will gather around the new year celebrations. And it asks the centre ‘to not cast ’a crooked glance’ on the Yatra alone’.
Meanwhile in Karnataka, Janata Dal(Secular)(JD(S)) leader and former CM H D Kumaraswamy who has been touring the state gearing up for the upcoming elections has said the ‘ghost of Corona is being released’ in reaction to and to curb the rising popularity of his Pancharatna Ratha Yatre.
Kumaraswamy who is touring their stronghold Mandya- Mysore region at present, spoke to media and said “I am prepared to cooperate with the government. I agree the precautionary measures are being put in place int he context of rising numbers and what we see is happening in China. But I have information that this ghost of corona virus that is being released is in response to the rising popularity of our Pancharatna Yatre“.
“There are discussions being held at Keshav Kripa, and it is also being brought to the notice of the PM, to do something to restrict the people who are joining our yatra, and to bring it to a halt. Let us see,” he added.
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