A reviving Covid scare across the globe amid horrifying stories leaking out of China has forced the government to prepare contingency plans so that catastrophes of second wave does not get repeated. Amid several cases of the new variant — which has taken China by surprise — the government had issued several advisories, including sending a notice to the Congress over Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, asking the party and its leader to follow Covid protocols since it involves a lot of people at the same time.
#WATCH | Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra enters national capital Delhi.(Source: AICC) pic.twitter.com/KH2eyPjTxD
— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2022
While Rahul Gandhi dismissed the claims and said those were “excuses" for Bharatiya Janata Party to stop the rally, the reality, however, is different. Several videos and images of the Yatra, as it entered Delhi, showed not just Rahul Gandhi but many Congress workers without masks walking in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. This raises question over what would happen if one of them turns out to be Covid positive.
#WATCH | Celebrations underway as Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra enters national capital Delhi. pic.twitter.com/dvTISH5VKD— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2022
Just ahead of the Yatra, Congress Jairam Ramsesh said: “I will wear mask. PM wore a mark to Parliament yesterday but later there was no mask on hisface. We will follow all issued by the government on the basis of medical evidence. BJP is doing politics on Covid and trying to defame Bharat Jodo Yatra."
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Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday sought to know whether Rahul Gandhi had got himself tested for COVID-19 as Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who had walked “arm-in-arm” with the Congress leader during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, was infected with the virus.
सुबह की सर्द फिजाएं और राहों पर पलकें बिछाए खड़ा दिलवालों का हुजूम…ये सारा प्यार और इंतज़ार उसके लिए जिसने ठाना है कि देश से नफ़रत और अन्याय मिटाकर रहेगा…प्यार और एकता की ताकत दुनिया को दिखाकर रहेगा।#BharatJodoYatra pic.twitter.com/ouRiznaVLx
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 24, 2022
Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra enters the national capital Delhi from NHPC Metro Station in Faridabad, Haryana. pic.twitter.com/VP4LR4mEzg— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2022
“The Himachal Pradesh chief minister has tested Covid positive during the yatra. That day, Rahul Gandhi was walking arm-in-arm with the chief minister. Did Rahul get himself tested for Covid,” Thakur told reporters here.
The Union minister sought to know whether other participants of the Bharat Jodo Yatra had got their Covid tests done. “Will the Congress not adhere to Covid protocols? Is one family or one party above Covid protocols,” Thakur asked.
He said leaders of the Congress will be held responsible if there is a fresh spread of Covid in the country.
“Have Congress leaders decided to continue spreading misinformation about Covid as they did about the vaccines,” Thakur asked.
“The health infrastructure of the country has to bear the brunt when several people get admitted to hospitals. And for this, leaders of the Congress who have spread misinformation and confusion about Covid are responsible,” the Union minister said.
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