Citing concerns raised by three Bharatiya Janata Party MPs over spread of coronavirus, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has urged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to consider suspending the Bharat Jodo Yatra if adherence to Covid protocols cannot be followed.
In a letter addressed to Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday, Mandaviya said three MPs from Rajasthan -- P P Chaudhary, Nihal Chand and Devji Patel -- have flagged concerns and requested him that Covid protocols, including use of masks and sanitisers, be strictly followed during the march and only those who are vaccinated be allowed to participate.
The yatra has entered Haryana on Wednesday from Rajasthan.
The MPs have also requested the Union minister to ensure that participants are isolated before and after taking part in the march.
The minister urged Gandhi and Gehlot to take prompt action keeping in view the requests made by the three MPs in Rajasthan.
Referring to the letter signed by the three MPs, Mandaviya said they have sought suspension of the yatra in national interest if adherence to Covid protocols cannot be ensured keeping in view concerns around public health.
The three MPs, in their letter on December 20, mentioned how the risk of Covid spread has 'increased' as people from other states are coming to Rajasthan to take part in the march and claimed that symptoms have shown up in many of them after the participation.
The MPs also highlighted how Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu tested positive for coronavirus infection after going back following participation in the event.
The Union health minister also attached the letter signed by the MPs to the Congress leaders and asked him to address their concerns.