BJP using ‘political corona’ to stop Bharat Jodo Yatra: SP’s Shafiqur Rahman Barq

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq has accused the Centre of indulging in “propaganda” over Covid and suggested that the BJP is using “political corona” to stop Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Citing concerns raised by three BJP MPs from Rajasthan over the spread of coronavirus, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had last week urged Gandhi to consider suspending the Bharat Jodo Yatra if adherence to Covid protocols, including use of masks and sanitisers, cannot be maintained.

The Congress hit back, accusing the government of selectively picking on the Bharat Jodo Yatra and pointed to the BJP taking out marches in Karnataka and Rajasthan.

“As far as the propaganda regarding corona is concerned, it is a political corona. It is the political corona of the BJP,” Barq told reporters in Sambhal.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Delhi on Saturday and will resume on January 3 after a nine-day break.

Amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases in some countries, the government has advised people to get vaccinated and wear masks. RT-PCR tests have been made mandatory for passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

Three cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7, apparently the strain driving China’s current surge of Covid cases, have been detected in India.