Several Twitter users asked why the Madhya Pradesh leaders were not following PM Modi’s appeal for social distancing as coronavirus cases rise in the country.
At a time when the entire country is trying to contain the spread of coronavirus and the central and state governments are actively asking people to maintain social distancing, Shivraj Singh Chouhan decided to take oath as the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in a packed Raj Bhavan.
He was sworn in by Governor Lalji Tandon on Monday and passed the floor test in the state assembly on Tuesday by a voice vote. After Chouhan passed the floor test, the House was adjourned till March 27.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation last week, had stressed the importance of social distancing and the World Health Organisation has also advised it as a preventive measure against the new coronavirus.
However, his own party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh seems to be flouting these guidelines.
BJP also tweeted a video of former Chief Minister Kamal Nath greeting Chouhan after the swearing-in ceremony. The tweet was later deleted.
Several replies to the BJP’s tweet asked why the leaders were not maintaining social distancing at a time when coronavirus cases have risen in the country.
The total number of COVID-19 patients across the country is now 446 and the death toll has reached 9. Madhya Pradesh has till now reported seven positive coronavirus cases, according to the Union health ministry.
After taking oath, Chouhan said fighting COVID-19 remains his top priority and held a meeting with officials to review steps taken to contain the spread.
“We are passing through a very testing time. Hence, it will not be proper to shake hands or receive bouquets in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. We all will defeat coronavirus jointly. It is our duty to protect elderly people (who are more vulnerable) from coronavirus,” he was quoted as saying by PTI after the swearing-in ceremony.
He also urged people to strictly follow state government directives issued from time to time to combat the pandemic. He also imposed a curfew in Bhopal and Jabalpur from Tuesday.
Several people replied to Madhya Pradesh BJP’s tweet, asking why the gathering couldn’t have been avoided and why the leaders were not following social distancing rules.
Can the celebrations be postponed, such gatherings stopped and photo sessions forgotten, can the Aam Janata & the available medical facilities be looked over in MP.
It looks like Covidiots are unaware of the situation. @JPNadda@PMOIndia— kisholay Sharma (@KisholaySharma) March 24, 2020
No Social distancing was followed by you all 😡— GandhianforumAt150 (@GAt150) March 24, 2020
Keep social distancing— CA ALKESH KASLIWAL (@CAALKESHKASLIWA) March 24, 2020
Good Massage Given By Our Responsible Personal For Maintaining Social Distance— Prakash Modi (@prakash_modi) March 24, 2020
Why so much crowd? What about social distancing??— सत्यव्रत ओझा (@satyavrat_ojha) March 24, 2020
The BJP in Madhya Pradesh had also tweeted pictures of 22 former Congress MLAs joining the party on March 21. The pictures show at least 20 people posing together for the photographs, prompting Twitter users to again ask why the Prime Minister’s appeal on social distancing was not being followed (see here and here)
आज राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री @JPNadda जी, श्री @nstomar जी, श्री @dpradhanbjp जी, श्री @JM_Scindia जी, श्री @KailashOnline जी की उपस्थिति में पूर्व विधायकों ने @BJP4India की सदस्यता ग्रहण की। pic.twitter.com/BMtLk2xxC1— BJP MadhyaPradesh (@BJP4MP) March 21, 2020
Here are some other tweets by Madhya Pradesh BJP and party’s state chief VD Sharma which show politics in the time of coronavirus.
कोरोना संक्रमण से बचने के लिए समस्त दिशा-निर्देशों को पालन करने का जो संदेश 20 मार्च को भाजपा प्रदेश कार्यालय में प्रदेश अध्यक्ष श्री विष्णुदत्त शर्मा ने आग्रह किया था, उसका आप सभी पालन करें।@vdsharmabjppic.twitter.com/mx9qBJCFYc— BJP MadhyaPradesh (@BJP4MP) March 21, 2020
प्रदेश कार्यालाय, भोपाल में हुई @BJP4MP विधायक दल की बैठक की कुछ तस्वीरें।
सभी ने सर्व सम्मति से श्री @ChouhanShivraj जी को विधायक दल का नेता चुना। pic.twitter.com/ZQ4SoK2l6f— VD SHARMA (@vdsharmabjp) March 23, 2020