Elections in Bengal are just months away now. The state’s BJP party appears to have recruited the pandemic in its campaign against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamool Congress.
“Corona is gone,” the BJP’s leader in Bengal declared at a public rally on Thursday, at a time the country is hitting record surges in coronavirus cases. Dilip Ghosh claimed that Mamata Banerjee was only “pretending” the virus is around and imposing lockdowns for the sole purpose of blocking BJP rallies ahead of elections due next year.
India has crossed 45 lakh coronavirus cases with 96,551 new infections and 1,209 deaths in 24 hours, a record so far. Bengal has close to 2 lakh infections and over 3,700 deaths.
In his latest comments on the Covid-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday requested people not to take coronavirus lightly and follow rules of wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing until experts developed a vaccine.
But a member of his own party seemed to ruin the threat as he addressed a crowded public meeting at a time when other leaders have switched to online rallies. The BJP had, earlier this year, relentlessly attacked the state’s ruling Trinamool over Bengal’s worsening virus emergency, saying it had underreported cases and deaths.