Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has written to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot asking them to ensure strict adherence to Covid guidelines during Bharat Jodo Yatra or postpone it. Use of masks and sanitiser should be implemented and only vaccinated people should be allowed to participate in the yatra, the health minister’s letter said.
Citing concerns raised by three BJP MPs over the spread of coronavirus, the letter further said that if proper follow-up of Covid regulations is not possible, then the yatra should be stopped keeping in mind the ‘public health emergency’ situation.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya y’day wrote to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi & Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.Letter reads that COVID guidelines be strictly followed during Bharat Jodo Yatra & use of masks-sanitiser be implemented; mentions that only vaccinated people participate pic.twitter.com/cRIyZz0DLY
— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2022
Mandaviya’s letter comes amid renewed health concerns triggered by a fresh spurt in Covid cases globally. The Minister said three MPs from Rajasthan — P P Chaudhary, Nihal Chand and Devji Patel — have flagged concerns and requested him to ensure that participants are isolated before and after taking part in the march. He urged Gandhi and Gehlot to take prompt action keeping in view the requests made by the three MPs in Rajasthan.
The yatra has, meanwhile, entered Haryana on Wednesday from Rajasthan.
Reacting to the letter, the Congress has called it a tactic to ‘divert’ people’s attention and said BJP-led Central government is scared of the momentum created by the Yatra.
“Due to the Bharat Jodo yatra, the Modi government is scared. To divert people’s attention they are raising questioning. Had PM Modi worn a mask during his yatra?” said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claimed the BJP-led Central government was ‘scared’ of the public support the Yatra received in the state and the letter was aimed to ‘disturb the Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
“The Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan was completed on the morning of December 21, but the BJP and Modi Government are so scared of the huge crowd gathered here that the Union Health Minister wrote a writing a letter on December 20 to Rahul Gandhi to follow the Covid protocol in Rajasthan,” he tweeted in Hindi.
“This clearly shows that BJP’s aim is to disturb the Bharat Jodo Yatra fearing the increasing public support,” he added.
With inputs from News18