Congress postpones Rahul Gandhi’s proposed Dec 28 Mumbai rally amid Omicron spread

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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Congress on Tuesday postponed a proposed rally of party leader Rahul Gandhi in Maharashtra capital Mumbai as cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continued to rise in the city.

Congress’ Mumbai chief Bhai Jagtap told reporters a decision was taken in this regard following discussions with state officials and senior party leaders in New Delhi.

Jagtap said the new date of Gandhi’s rally in Mumbai will be announced in a few days. “Rahul Gandhi’s rally is postponed but not cancelled. The threat of the coronavirus pandemic and its new variant Omicron was taken into consideration before arriving at this decision,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Jagtap added that a call on fresh dates will be taken after the Omicron situation improves in Mumbai.

A day ago, Jagtap had moved the Bombay high court against the Uddhav Thackeray government for not granting permission to the rally. In the petition, the Mumbai Congress chief had sought nod to use the park ground between December 22 and 28 for the meeting on the occasion of the 137th foundation day of the party. Congress is one of three constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. Jagtap withdrew his plea unconditionally on Tuesday.

Last week, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had said the state administration needs to think about granting a nod to Gandhi’s visit and rally in Mumbai amid the spread of the new strain.

Meanwhile, eight more cases of Omicron were reported in Maharashtra on Tuesday, with Mumbai accounting for seven of them. With this, the cumulative tally of the Covid-19 variant in the state has risen to 28 – the highest in the country.

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