Uttarakhand CM apologises to Congress leader for colleague's remarks

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: After Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that no risk which could possibly turn Haridwar Mahakumbh into ‘Wuhan or a Markaz’ should be taken, opposition Indian National Congress has slammed him terming the remark irresponsible. The opposition party claimed it to be an attempt to deflect attention from unpreparedness for Mahakumbh 2021. 

Suryakant Dhasmana, vice-president of Uttarakhand Congress unit said, “The CM said Markaz targeting Tablighi jamaat while it has nothing to do with Mahakumbh. The pandemic was not spread by any one community. Picking a particular name and religion is not right in any sense. This statement seems more to cover up the failure to prepare for the grand religious congregation.”

The INC leader also added that the statement by the CM is highly irresponsible. 

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Earlier, on Wednesday, the CM while leaving for his Almora tour from Dehradun had said that no risk should be taken that turns the Haridwar Mahakumbh into a ‘Wuhan or Markaz’.  He had also added that the strict SOPs are to keep devotees and pilgrims safe and to prevent loss of lives.

Over 1600 people have died in Uttarakhand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Saints, business groups and other stakeholders have raised their concerns that such strict norms are bound to discourage pilgrims and devotees to travel Haridwar for Mahakumbh 2021. 

According to the SOP, pilgrims must have a Covid-19 RT-PCR negative test report (test done 72 hours prior to the date of visit) and must register themselves with the state government before visiting the religious congregation starting on February 27. 

The SOPs also advocate ‘appropriate Covid-19 behaviour’ like social distancing, wearing of masks, and installing Aarogya Setu App mandatorily.