New Delhi: Hours after deciding to suspend its ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ in Rajasthan in view of a rising number of coronavirus cases globally, the Bharatiya Janata Party said it will go ahead with its plan of holding public meetings in assembly constituencies while following the COVID-19 protocols.
With an eye on the assembly polls due next year in Rajasthan, BJP chief J.P. Nadda launched the ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ in the state on December 1.
“The BJP has suspended ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ in Rajasthan in the wake of rising number of COVID-19 cases. For the BJP, people come first before politics. For us the safety of people, their health is priority,” party general secretary Arun Singh said on Thursday, December 22.
He had asked the Congress to do the same with the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
However, a few hours later, BJP state president Satish Poonia said there was some confusion regarding the suspension of the yatra. He added that public meetings will continue.
“So far, Jan Aakrosh sabhas have been organised in 41 assembly constituencies. Since there is no advisory of the central and state governments, there was some confusion. The confusion was about suspending yatras but our public meetings will take place,” he said in a video statement in Patna.
On the same day, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya too raised concerns over the global rise in COVID-19 cases. He advised people to follow precautions, including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and using hand sanitisers, to prevent the spread of the virus.
The minister said that the airports have also started to conduct random RT-PCR tests on 2% of international passengers in the country on December 22.
Most of the ministers in parliament, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, could also be seen wearing masks.
Separately, health minister Mandaviya had written to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to consider suspending the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ if COVID-19 protocols could not be followed.
The yatra, which started in Kanyakumari on September 7, has covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The yatra is expected to enter Delhi on December 24, Friday.
(With inputs from PTI)