West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party chief Dilip Ghosh has claimed that the coronavirus pandemic was over and that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was imposing lockdown in the state to stop the party from organising public meetings, PTI reported on Friday.

The state’s coronavirus tally stood at 1,93,175 cases with 23,377 active cases. India on Friday reported a record increase of 96,550 new infections, taking its tally to 45,62,414.

Ghosh made the comments at a rally in Hooghly which was attended by thousands of party supporters ignoring physical distancing norms on Wednesday. Hooghly district has registered the fifth-highest number of cases in the state.

“Didi’s [Mamata Banerjee] brothers [supporters] are feeling uneasy after seeing the gathering [at the rally],” Ghosh said, addressing the crowd at the Hooghly meeting. “It is not due to the fear of coronavirus, but due to fear of [the] BJP! Corona is over, but Didi is unnecessarily imposing lockdown across the state to stop [the] BJP from holding meetings and rallies.” The state has a complete lockdown on Friday.

The Trinamool Congress mocked Ghosh for his comments and said that he should visit a doctor.

“Every day we are witnessing a spike of 3,000 cases in Bengal and more than 95,000 cases in the country,” Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Bandopadhyay said. “And BJP state president Dilip Ghosh is making a hilarious statement that Covid-19 is gone! I think he should visit a doctor for his treatment.”

On Thursday, BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda had called the Banerjee-led government ‘anti-Hindu’ for imposing a lockdown in the state on August 5, the day of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

“Mamata didi imposed a lockdown in West Bengal on August 5 and crushed the dreams of crores,” Nadda had said, addressing the newly formed party’s executive committee in the state. “In sharp contrast, [the] lockdown was withdrawn due to Bakrid on July 31. This shows that the state government’s policies are driven by an anti-Hindu mindset and appeasement politics.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has regularly urged citizens to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. “I have certain expectations from you,” Modi had said at the national launch of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana on Thursday, according to PTI. “That is to follow the rule of wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of two yards. Be safe and remain healthy. Take care of senior citizens in the family. These things are important. Do not take coronavirus lightly.”

Even the West Bengal unit of the BJP has criticised Chief Minister Banerjee for her handling of the pandemic, and claimed the Trinamool Congress government had deliberately underreported deaths and cases caused due to the Covid-19 infection, NDTV reported.