The Gujarat Congress on Thursday alleged that the country is paying the price for the "Namaste Trump" event which was organised by the state BJP government. This comes after Gujarat Congress chief, Amit Chavda, on Wednesday alleged that Covid-19 cases spiked in the state because of the event held in Ahmedabad.
"Due to Namaste Trump Publicity programme Ahmedabad has become a hotspot in the state, 73% of deaths are in Ahmedabad," the Congress tweeted on Thursday.
"Because of Namaste Trump programme, not only Gujarat but the whole nation is paying the price," added Congress. "Is it a coincidence that Ahmedabad which hosted the Namaste Trump event has become one of the worst affected cities?" the party questioned. Congress also said that the Gujarat Model of Development was a lie which has completely devastated not only the state of Gujarat but the entire nation.
State Congress President Amit Chavda on Wednesday said his party wants an independent probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into BJP's role in spreading COVID-19 in the state and that they will approach the Gujarat High Court soon against government's "criminal negligence".
However, the state BJP unit dismissed the allegation as baseless, saying the event was organised well before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, and the first coronavirus case in the state was reported nearly a month after the event. On February 24, US President Donald Trump along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in a roadshow in Ahmedabad which was attended by thousands of people.
After the roadshow, the two leaders addressed a gathering of over one lakh people at the Motera cricket stadium, run by Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA). Gujarat reported its first coronavirus cases on March 20, when samples of a man from Rajkot and a woman from Surat tested positive for the disease.
With 388 persons testing positive since the previous night, 275 in Ahmedabad district alone, the number of coronavirus cases in Gujarat reached 7,013, a senior official said on Thursday. During the same period, 29 COVID-19 patients died, taking the death toll due to the pandemic in the state to 425, said Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi.
(With agency inputs)