Rajasthan BJP suspends Jan Aakrosh Yatra ‘keeping Covid protocol in mind’


The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced that it was suspending its Jan Aakrosh Yatra (JAY) in Rajasthan in view of a looming Covid threat.

The BJP’s Rajasthan in-charge, Rajya Sabha MP Arun Singh, said, “We have stopped the remaining Yatras and have said to the people that we will be among them once again, without a doubt.” He said that this was done “keeping the Covid protocol in mind”.

The announcement comes in the backdrop of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to either follow “all Covid-19 guidelines” during his Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) or suspend it “in national interest”. In a letter addressed to Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday, Mandaviya wrote, “Please ensure that in the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan, all Covid-19 guidelines are strictly followed, masks and sanitisers are used, and only those vaccinated against Covid-19 participate. People must isolate themselves before and after they join the atra… If it is not possible to follow these Covid-19 protocols, then, keeping the public health situation in mind, please suspend the Bharat Jodo Yatra in the national interest…”

The Congress hit back at the government on Wednesday, accusing it of selectively targeting its programme. Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, pointed out that Parliament was meeting normally and masks were no longer compulsory anywhere, including on flights. “The BJP has organised yatras in Rajasthan and Karnataka. There has been no advisory from the Centre to states of late, except the one issued yesterday on genome sequencing. It also bears recall that in March 2020, the Modi government delayed imposition of lockdown by at least a week to enable the toppling of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Arun Singh too urged Gandhi to take an “appropriate decision” regarding the BJY. “Rahul Gandhi should also consider the safety of people and follow Covid protocol,” he said Thursday, adding that life is paramount. He also termed the BJY as “nothing more than a morning and evening walk”.

The JAY , led by BJP state president Satish Poonia, began on December 3 and its first phase ended on December 14. The second phase, scheduled between December 16 and 31, is underway.


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