As India recorded more than 234,000 new Covid-19 infections last Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an election rally in the West Bengal town of Asansol and tweeted: “I’ve never seen such huge crowds.”

The second wave of the coronavirus has since grown into a tsunami. India is now the global coronavirus hotspot, setting records for the world’s highest number of daily cases. Images of hospitals overflowing with the sick and dying are flooding social media, as medical staff and the public alike make desperate appeals for oxygen supplies.

Narendra Modi addresses a rally for the West Bengal election at Barasat on April 12.

Photographer: Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times

The political and financial capitals of New Delhi and Mumbai are in lockdown, with only the sound of ambulance sirens punctuating the quiet, but there’s a growing chorus of blame directed at Modi over his government’s handling of the pandemic.

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