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Coronavirus: Politicians in Bengal say no to physical

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Politicians cutting across party lines in West Bengal have switched to work-from-home mode in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, shunning physical interactions and opting for social media to connect with workers and supporters.

Since the last few days, most political parties, including the TMC, BJP, Congress and CPI(M) have called off rallies and other public programmes as the state went into a lockdown to contain the spread of the dreaded virus.

We have asked our party workers to stay safe and vigilant, and abide by the guidelines of the Centre and the state government. At present, we are coordinating over phone and social media. Our party offices at the state and districts levels are operating with skeletal strength. If needed, we will close them for the time being," CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim said.

He added that young party activists in their respective localities have created WhatsApp groups to help the needy and the elderly with essentials at this time of crisis.

State BJP president and MP Dilip Ghosh said he is in touch with its workers over phone, and all party offices across the state have been asked to close down for the next 21 days, the lockdown period announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening.

"All of our state party leaders and workers are at home. Offices are closed," he said.

Ghosh, who has a busy schedule on most days of the week, is now spending time reading books, party literature and keeping a close tab on developments related to the pandemic.

Congress president Somen Mitra echoed Ghosh and said most of its party offices in West Bengal are shut.

Senior ministers of the state government are also working from home, issuing necessary instructions to officers over phone.

We are sitting at home and spending time with our family. We are not meeting anyone in person," Senior TMC leader and minister Subrata Mukherjee said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 18:48 IST