In a sudden awakening of his conscience, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced that he would cancel all his upcoming campaign rallies in the poll-bound state of West Bengal, which still has three phases of polling remaining prior to the results being declared on May 2. Important to remember here is the fact that Rahul Gandhi has already addressed two poll rallies in the state in the past few days. Rahul Gandhi – a late entrant to the election campaign of the Congress party in the state of West Bengal, on Sunday cautioned other political leaders to not hold any rallies, keeping in mind the upsurge of Covid-19 cases across the country.
“In view of the Covid situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal. I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” Gandhi said on Twitter. The announcement came after West Bengal’s election campaign, in which the BJP is on the front foot, came to the notice of the country’s liberals and political has-beens. Rahul Gandhi being the inconsequential leader that he is, has the luxury of cancelling his public rallies. Other leaders, who matter in state and national politics, however, cannot afford to do the same.
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) April 18, 2021
In fact, Rahul Gandhi calling off his campaign in the state will work in Congress’ favour. After ruining the party’s prospects in Puducherry, Assam and Kerala, Rahul Gandhi had belatedly turned his eyes towards West Bengal, despite the reported reservations of the party’s state machinery against Gandhi campaigning in the state. The latest announcement by the Congress scion comes as a sigh of relief for Congress workers in Bengal, who were just preparing for all the damage control they would have to resort to in order to mitigate the backlash the party’s campaign would face due to Rahul’s extravagant shenanigans.
The moral grandstanding by Rahul Gandhi comes at a time when the Election Commission has itself taken various steps to ensure that the spread of Coronavirus during the next three phases of polling is inhibited. In its order which came into effect last Friday, the EC said that no rallies, public meetings, street plays, nukkad sabhas, shall be allowed on any day during the days of the campaign between 7 pm and 10 am. Further, the EC also extended the silence period to 72 hours for each of the remaining phases.
The confidence which the BJP is exuding in West Bengal, and its unprecedented offensive against the TMC is what is giving sleepless nights to India’s liberals and opposition party leaders. It is the mood of the state, supportive of the BJP, which is necessitating liberals to go crazy and demand that all election campaigning in the state be cancelled. Acting on the same, Rahul Gandhi, whose presence or absence in the state makes no difference, has thus decided to take the moral high ground and cancel all his rallies in the crucial state.