The Weekend Leader - Covid surge: PM cancels Puducherry visit

Covid surge: PM cancels Puducherry visit



Photo: IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was to inaugurate the National youth festival at Puducherry on January 12, has cancelled his visit due to a surge in Covid cases in the Union Territory (UT) and Tamil Nadu.

The information was shared by senior BJP leader and Home Minister of Union Territory of Puducherry on Friday.

The National Youth Festival which was to be held from January 12-16 to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence and birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, will now be held in the virtual mode for three days only.

Prime Minister Modi will now inaugurate the National Youth Festival in virtual mode on January 12, the scheduled date.

Puducherry Chief Secretary Ashwini Kumar has communicated to all the Chief Secretaries not to send delegations from their respective states and to note the change of schedule to virtual mode.

Around 7,000 youths from all states and Union Territories were expected to participate in the five-day event. Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Anurag Singh Thakur who was in Puducherry on Wednesday had overseen all the preparations for the event and had assigned a team of officers from the Ministry led by Under Secretary of the department of sports and youth affairs Pankaj Kumar Singh.

However, with the programme being now converted to virtual mode, the Puducherry administration has heaved a sigh of relief.

Former Chief Minister of Puducherry and senior Congress leader, V. Narayanasami had already called upon the Prime Minister not to attend the programme taking into consideration the high surge in fresh Covid -19 cases as also the presence of Omicron variant. The CPI state secretary A.M. Saleem has also requested the Prime Minister to cancel the programme considering the high number of fresh cases.-IANS

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