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Amid surge, Modi to hold 4 rallies, including one in Kolkata in a day

Kolkata: Despite the surge in Covid cases, number of public meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bengal to remain unchanged as four rallies —including one in Kolkata — have been rescheduled to take place on one day instead of two.

This comes when TMC Chairperson Mamata Banerjee decided not to hold any more major rallies apart from one symbolic rally on April 26 in Kolkata and also reduced the duration of her speech in all public rallies in districts.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also cancelled all his visit to the state and Left also decided not to hold any major rallies.

However, according to the sources in BJP the party on Monday evening decided not to hold any further big public meetings in Bengal and Modi along with other leaders would also address small gatherings - that could be not more than 500 - by maintaining social distancing norms.

It needs a mention that Modi visited Bengal 12 times for poll campaign in the run up of the Assembly elections and addressed 18 public meetings till date.

Sources said that instead of two rallies each on April 21 and 24, all four rallies will be held on April 23. He would be addressing public meetings at Maldah BEd College Ground, Murshidabad Northern Park, Bhowanipore in Kolkata and Suri in Birbhum.

This comes when 8,426 Covid cases were recorded in the state and 38 people died in the past 24 hours.

TMC launched vehement attack at BJP for continuing with major rallies in the state despite the surge. "Mamata Bannerji is strictly following the Covid protocol, has curtailed her meetings, speeches and public engagements. Does the BJP have the courage to follow her example? Or are votes more valuable for them than human lives?" tweeted senior TMC leader Yashwant Sinha.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra said: "Why is @ECISVEEP hell bent on killing us all? Why can the Epidemic Act not be invoked & voting clubbed together? How is @BJP candidate's right to campaign superior to voters' right to life? This is insane @ECISVEEP."

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