Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP Member of Parliament from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat Aparajita Sarangi’s birthday celebrations in Bhubaneswar in violation of COVID-19 guidelines has attracted criticism from various quarters.
The videos of Sarangi’s birthday celebrations on Thursday that have gone viral in social media platforms shows hundreds of people singing and dancing without wearing masks and without maintaining social distance.
Odisha Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra has written a letter to Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai requesting the latter to bring Sarangi’s “irresponsible acts” to the notice of the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and advise her not to endanger the lives of the people of Bhubaneswar.
Enclosing the videos with his two-page letter to Rai, Mishra said that he would not have brought this to the Union Minister’s notice had this been the first occasion where the MP has “blatantly violated Covid guidelines”.
Bhubaneswar Hon'ble MP. Aparajita Sarangi!!
A leader of her stature is not abiding by the law. Is this negligence or defiance ? It's like sending a clear message not to wear mask and not to maintain social distancing. Dangerous repetition pic.twitter.com/B9CEe9ORmL
— Kumkum Dash (@kumkum_dash) October 9, 2020
In addition to repeated advisories, warnings and booking of at least three cases against Sarangi for violation of Covid guidelines, there is no improvement in her behaviour, wrote Mishra in his letter to Rai.
“These irresponsible acts will put her, people near to her and the public at large at grave risk of life,” Mishra observed.
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 the Prime Minister’s repeated messages and his appeal on Thursday,” Mishra added.
Mentioning that 109 persons have lost their lives due to COVID-19 and five COVID warriors have sacrificed their lives in the fight against the disease in Bhubaneswar city alone, Mishra said that the MP celebrating her birthday “in disregard of COVID guidelines makes a complete mockery of the struggles and sufferings that ordinary people are going through”.
Until Friday afternoon, Sarangi had not responded to the controversy. Instead, she tweeted around 4.30 pm announcing that she will take part in a television debates later in the evening (Friday) as national spokesperson of the BJP.