Aparajita violated Covid norms, State Minister tells Centre
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government on Friday drew the Centre’s attention to alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines by BJP national spokesperson and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi during her birthday celebration here.
A purported video of the event on Thursday showed Sarangi surrounded by a large number of women not wearing face masks or maintaining adequate social distance, mandatory to contain the spread of the disease. They were also seen singing and dancing at the programme.
Odisha’s Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra, in a letter to Union Minister of State, Home Affairs, Nityananda Rai, said that Sarangi had flouted COVID-19 prevention protocols while celebrating the occasion. He attached the video clip with the mail.
“I am sure that your office will bring this to the notice of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister and advise the MP not to endanger the lives of the people of Bhubaneswar,” he said.
Rejecting the allegation, bureaucrat-turned-MP Sarangi said, “There has been no violation of COVID-19 norms.”
“I would not have brought this to your notice, had this been the first occasion where the Honourable MP has blatantly violated COVID-19 guidelines,” Mishra mentioned in the letter.
Repeated advisories, warnings and booking of at least three cases against the MP for disobeying COVID-19 prevention protocols have failed to bring any improvement in her behaviour, the Minister said. “These irresponsible acts will put her, people near to her and the public at grave risk. Such irresponsible behaviour on the part of a people’s representative will demotivate COVID-19 Warriors and is an insult to all those who have lost their lives,” he said.
As the national spokesperson of the BJP, it is important that “her conduct inspires people to follow COVID-19 guidelines at this very critical juncture,” Mishra said.
The letter also mentioned that as many as 109 people have succumbed to the infection and five frontline workers have died in the fight against COVID-19 in Bhubaneswar alone.
“In this backdrop, the MP celebrating her birthday in disregard of COVID-19 guidelines makes a complete mockery of the struggles and sufferings that ordinary people are going through,” the Minister said.