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PM Modi Cancels All His Bengal Rallies On Friday, Cites Ongoing COVID-19 Situation

As the nation grapples with acute oxygen shortage, PM Modi on Thursday, announced that he will not be attending his four rallies on Friday for Bengal polls



Update at 6:30 PM

On request of BJP Bengal leaders, the Prime Minister will address voters of Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum and Kolkata, through a virtual medium at 5pm on 23 Apr. 

As the nation grapples with acute oxygen shortage, PM Modi on Thursday, announced that he will not be attending his final four rallies on Friday for the Bengal polls. Citing that his presence was needed at high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation, PM Modi informed that he will not be going to West Bengal. PM Modi was scheduled to attend four rallies — in Malda, Murshidabad, Sewli and South Kolkata on April 23, ahead of the seventh phase of elections. Bengal's remaining phases are scheduled on April 26, April 29 and results are set to be announced on May 2.

PM Modi cancels four Bengal rallies

PM Modi chairs O2 meeting

The Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to review the O2 supply across India and boost its availability, attended by senior officials including Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Home Secretary and Health Secretary. On this occasion, the PM stressed the need to work on increasing the production of oxygen, increasing the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. Directing the officials to ensure oxygen supply to various states in an unhindered manner, he stated that the responsibility should be fixed on the local administration in cases of obstruction.

Revealing that 20 states are being supplied 6822 MT of oxygen per day as against their demand of 6785 MT, the officials briefed PM Modi that the availability of liquid medical oxygen has increased by 3300 MT per day in the last few days. Thereafter, the PM also highlighted that oxygen should be transported to states much faster. During the discussion, some representatives from the medical community spoke about the judicious use of oxygen and how an audit in some states has decreased oxygen demand without affecting the condition of patients. Meanwhile, PM Modi opined that states must come down heavily on hoarding of oxygen supplies.

BJP curbs rallies

On Monday, BJP announced that it has decided to cancel all its big rallies, public meetings, and programmes for the upcoming Bengal polls. BJP also announced that all Central ministers including PM Modi will hold small public meetings where not more than 500 people will be in attendance. All such meetings will strictly follow all COVID-19 guidelines.

BJP has also set a target of distributing 6 crore masks and sanitisers in these small meetings across Bengal. Launching 'Apna booth - Corona Mukt', BJP is preparing to launch dedicated COVID helpdesks and helpline numbers in all states across India. Lauding PM Modi's efforts in making India the fastest to complete 1 crore vaccinations, BJP has urged all its members to help the Centre in the nationwide vaccination drive. Moreover, 115 LED screens will be put up across the poll-bound state by the BJP. With BJP, Trinamool and the Congress-Left alliance entangled in battle for Bengal, top leaders like PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Choudhury were holding massive rallies and roadshows across the state.

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