Bhubaneswar: Odisha Minister of State (Home), Dibya Shankar Mishra, on Friday wrote to the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai requesting to advise BJP's Bhubaneswar MP, Aparajita Sarangi to refrain from violating COVID guidelines and endangering lives of people.
Citing a video showing Sarangi celebrating her birthday with her supporters, Mishra stated, "The video clearly shows Sarangi surrounded by hundreds of women who are neither wearing masks (except one) nor maintaining social distance and indulging in song and dance with utter disregard to Covid guidelines issued under the National Disaster Management Act despite repeated appeals made by the Prime Minister regarding the same."
Accusing Sarangi of being a repeat violator, Mishra wrote, "I would not have brought this to your notice, had this been the first occasion where the MP has blatantly violated Covid guidelines. In addition to repeated advisories, warnings and booking of at least three cases against the MP for violation of Covid guidelines, there is no improvement in behaviour."
"These irresponsible acts will put her, people near to her and the public at large at grave risk of life. It may be noted that Bhubaneswar city is fighting a serious battle and many Covid Warriors are working night and day to save precious lives. Some of the Covid Warriors have also sacrificed their lives. Such irresponsible behaviour on the part of a people's representative will demotivate the Covid Warriors and is an insult to all those who have lost their lives. And it also sends a completely contradictory message to the people at large especially in the light of Prime Minister's repeated messages and his appeal yesterday."
Raising questions on her conduct as a public figure, Mishra further wrote, "She is a people's representative and people look up to her. She is also the national spokesperson of the BJP. It is important that her conduct inspires people to follow the Covidd guidelines at this very critical juncture. These are tough times when people have obeyed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood."
Urging the Union Minister to take cognizance of the matter, Mishra stated, "I am sure that your good 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 people of Bhubaneswar."
Later, Sarangi responded to the allegations of COVID19 norm violations and questioned why the Odisha Minister is adopting double standards and did not act when a state minister and MLA, both COVID19-infected, participated in the funeral of Pradeep Maharathy.
(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)