Covid-19 was not considered to be an issue till the last few days during the Bengal Election 2021. Along with the growth of daily cases, amid a fierce campaigning battle, the pandemic made a straight entry into the political discourse. As the country reels under Covid pandemic, in West Bengal, politics appears to be opting for the state’s acknowledgment of the crisis.
Now, West Bengal is observing a steep rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and many health experts held month-long political rallies and campaignings accountable for the spread of the coronavirus in urban as well as rural areas of the state.
Have a look at the private hospitals, they are now running short of doses and they have halted proving the first dose, focusing more on the second dose. Health experts found that nothing other than the political heavyweights is responsible for the steep spike in rural West Bengal. Hundreds of crowd assimilated in the rallies of all the parties, of course, contributed a lot to this situation of the state. Hardly any social distancing or safety protocols were followed by the so-called supporters in these rallies.
Amidst the rallies during the Bengal election 2021, reporters once asked Anjali Pal, a 40-year-old masseuse and Trinamool Congress employee who was not wearing a mask even about the fears regarding covid surge. In reply to their question, Anjali stated “I am not scared of corona because Didi is with us”.
Well, if DIDI possesses such power then we should pass this news to the scientists who are working ruthlessly to find a reliable way to fight CORONA!
In the brine of TMC supporters who followed Mamata Banerjee on her roadshow, social distancing was impossible and many of those present had let go of their masks as well.
Even the same goes for BJP, PM Narendra Modi went on addressing large public meetings in every single corner of Bengal. Thousands of people had come to see the prime minister could not follow any kind of social distancing and many there too had their masks off.
Ankit Yadav is among a clump of BJP supporters who are sloganeering “2 May, Didi gayi” as they enter the venue for PM Modi’s outdoor rally at Night in Asansol. Ankit is 14 and hasn’t worried to wear a mask to the event. Is he not scared of the coronavirus? “Nahi, hum log ko shakti hai. We have the power to beat corona.”
Rajkumar Ruidas, a 10-year-old boy at the rally, says, “Modi ke dekhte eshechi, coronay bhoy nei [I have come to see Modi, not scared of corona].”
Taking all these scenarios into account The Election Commission banned roadshows, bike rallies, and padayatra for the remaining part of the West Bengal poll campaign, besides capping participation at public meetings to 500 persons subject to availability of sufficient space with social distancing. Hardly anyone followed them!
This was the situation before the date of the West Bengal election 2021. Corona won over politics! Now, after all these battles and rallies the result of the poll came out on May 2. Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won 213 seats in the just finalized West Bengal assembly elections. The BJP earned 77 seats in the 294-seat state assembly.
Like the age-old traditional even in corona clashes started between BJP & TMC. West Bengal was in the throes of extensive violence that allegedly left several BJP workers dead and injured in conflicts, and shops being looted, prompting the Union home ministry to seek a valid report from the state government on occurrences of attack on opposition workers.
Several videos of the attacks at a BJP office with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning amid nervous cries of people running away from the bases were shared by the party. Several photos of dead men and people scurrying with apparel looted from a shop were everywhere on social media
Amid violent clashes between the BJP and Left parties in West Bengal, Bollywood actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan got severely trolled on social media. Numerous visuals shared on social media show people being assaulted as well as incidents of vandalism, with many BJP and Left leaders holding the TMC responsible.
People started questioning why Jaya Bachchan, who had supported Mamata Banerjee during election campaigns, is silent amid the ongoing violence in the state? But no one remembered that West Bengal towards time already started heading towards a drastic outbreak of the second wave of coronavirus as the people are not attaching to the protocol to check its spread.
Doctors strictly warned that this violation of the Covid-19 protocol may lead to a situation similar to the one in 2020 after the outbreak of the pandemic across the globe. Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, who is in charge of the post-Covid follow-up clinic at the Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata General (ID&BG) Hospital, which was a preferred Covid-19 hospital, anticipates a “severe outbreak” of contagion the state shortly”!
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is now announcing several restrictions to contain the COVID-19 surge in the State, including suspending all local train services and reducing metro services and State transport services by half. But don’t you think this was supposed to do by her long ago???
Both the parties were busy blaming each other for the sudden spike in covid cases. But hardly any of them did anything to curb it. Amid the fight between the politicians during the Bengal Election 2021, it’s the virus who has won and it’s the public, the common people who have lost!