Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi has tested positive for Covid-19, two days after declaring that he had cancelled all his public rallies in the state of West Bengal. Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said, “After experiencing mild symptoms, I’ve just tested positive for Covid. All those who’ve been in contact with me recently, please follow all safety protocols and stay safe.” Earlier, on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi had cautioned against large public rallies in West Bengal. It is highly probable that Rahul Gandhi already knew that he would test positive for coronavirus by Sunday and was experiencing mild symptoms.
After experiencing mild symptoms, I’ve just tested positive for COVID.
All those who’ve been in contact with me recently, please follow all safety protocols and stay safe.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 20, 2021
Yet, on Sunday, the Gandhi scion took to project himself as a messiah of Indian politics, and the only humane leader who was sacrificing the Congress’ fortunes in Bengal just to prevent the pandemic situation from getting exacerbated. “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 tweeted.
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.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 18, 2021
RT-PCR tests in the national capital are overflowing since cases are surging, and therefore, the time taken for results to be produced is anywhere between 48-72 hours. This means that by Sunday at least, Rahul Gandhi must have had a fair idea about his condition, and must have been showing symptoms of Covid-19. So, in all likelihood, the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi thought that the situation could be used to set an example for other parties and leaders and to indulge in some moral grandstanding.
In fact, Rahul Gandhi calling off his campaign in West Bengal 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 Congress must come clean on whether Rahul Gandhi cancelled his public rallies in West Bengal beginning Sunday after realising that he was potentially infected with Covid-19. If he was, then Gandhi would have had to cancel his scheduled public rallies in Bengal in any case. By cancelling them before announcing that he was infected, however, Rahul perhaps chose to score political brownie points.