03:05 GMT14 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Home Minister Amit Shah kicked off a virtual rally session in politically significant states such as West Bengal and Bihar, where polls are coming up. The Indian opposition has castigated the government for thinking about "electoral gains" and spending "fortunes" at a time when the nation is fighting a pandemic.

    The virtual rallies by India's governing party have come under sharp criticism from various rival political parties. On Tuesday, a key political party from Uttar Pradesh state - the Samajwadi Party - slammed the Narendra Modi government over its extravagance when the country is faced with various other challenges amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

    The Samajwadi Party leader and former state chief Akhilesh Yadav launched a sharp attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government by accusing it of spending "millions" on organising virtual electoral rallies during the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

    The Samajwadi Party chief tweeted: "Heard that after Bihar, crores of rupees are being spent on a virtual rally in Bengal to make a world record. The BJP is claiming these are not poll rallies. So, why are attempts being made to reach to the booth level? In reality, the BJP is making world record in telling lies".

    The attack comes as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader held a virtual rally for India's West Bengal on Tuesday, where elections are due in 2021. The home minister, known for his immaculate campaign organisation skills, launched a scathing attack on West Bengal state chief Mamata Banerjee during the rally and called for a political change in the state.

    Amit Shah's virtual rally session began in India's Bihar state on Sunday, where elections are due this year. During his speech in the northern Indian state, the key BJP politician and former party chief hit out at the opposition while maintaining that the event is not political or electoral in nature, but an attempt to unify his countrymen and materialise Modi's self-reliant India. A similar rally was also organised in Odisha state on Monday.

    Other opposition parties in the country have also targeted the Modi government and questioned the virtual sessions organised by the BJP.

    Bihar's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) opposition party held a demonstration ahead of former BJP President Shah's rally.

    The RJD alleged that it cost BJP $19.2 million (INR 1,440 million) to install 72,000 of LED screens across Bihar state. It called upon the party (BJP) to focus on other important issues, such as the migrant crisis in the country.

    However, the BJP has denied that the cost of LEDs was that high.



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