BJP Can Hold Virtual Rallies If Needed Amid Omicron Risk: Polls In-Charge

BJP Can Hold Virtual Rallies If Needed Amid Omicron Risk: Polls In-Charge

COVID-19: BJP said it can hold virtual rallies if the need arises ahead of assembly elections

New Delhi:

The BJP can hold virtual election rallies if the need arises due to stricter restrictions amid concerns over the spread of Omicron, a party’s election in-charge has said.

Several states have already announced night curfew as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Election rallies, where social distancing is problematic, are seen as worrisome with assembly polls just months away in big states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

“The BJP is ready for a virtual rally. We did virtual rallies before the (West) Bengal elections also,” Union Minister and BJP election in-charge Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said today.

“During the pandemic, when all political parties in the world were in hibernation, even at that time BJP workers and supporters were working on virtual platforms,” he said.

The Election Commission is in talks with the Union Health Secretary and experts on how to go about holding polls amid the highly transmissible Omicron risk.

“It is the job of the Election Commission to decide how, when and with what policies the elections will be held and what restrictions will be there. The decision taken by the Election Commission will be applicable to all political parties,” Mr Shekhawat said.

The Election Commission is likely to announce the dates for polls in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur early next month. Those deployed in election duty in the five states are considered frontline workers and can take a booster dose.

India may see a spurt in the COVID-19 growth rate within days and head into an intense but short-lived virus wave as the Omicron variant moves through the nation, news agency Bloomberg reported today quoting an expert at the University of Cambridge.

“It is likely that India will see a period of explosive growth in daily cases and that the intense growth phase will be relatively short,” Paul Kattuman, professor at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge which has developed a COVID-19 India tracker, wrote in an email. “New infections will begin to rise in a few days, possibly within this week,” he said, adding that it was hard to predict how high the daily cases could go.

Assam Press