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Is The Centre Trying To Thwart Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra With Covid Protocols?

As the Bharat Jodo Yatra nears Delhi, it has begun to get a bit of a mixed reception. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya rushed a letter to Rahul Gandhi urging him to follow Covid protocols during the yatra. In a letter addressed to Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Mandviya suggested that he either adhere to Covid protocols or suspend the yatra. By Covid protocol, the minister meant allowing only the vaccinated and masked to participate in the BJY.  Mandviya was apparently acting on complaints of three Rajasthan MPs who said their state had seen a spike in Corona cases in the aftermath of the yatra. There may be no exaggeration here; after all Himachal CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu tested Covid positive post his Dausa visit and failed to keep his date with PM Modi. While Jairam Ramesh dismissed complaints of MPs as a fallout of “enormous success of BJY in their state,” he admitted public health is far too serious an issue on which to play party politics. “If there is a protocol for gatherings Bharat Jodo Yatra will abide by it undoubtedly,” he said. Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel, however, felt the Centre was “looking for new ways to stop the yatra.” When there was Corona, you held polls in WB, Assam and UP. Now you’re making excuses to stop the yatra?” he asked.