Madhya Pradesh minister and BJP leader Narottam Mishra has kicked up a storm by not wearing a mask at a public event in Indore and then saying “I don’t wear masks”.
Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister Narottam Mishra was spotted at an event on Wednesday going around without a mask. Narottam Mishra was seen standing in the middle of a crowd of reporters without a mask or any protective gear.
When asked by reporters why he is not wearing any masks, Narottam Mishra said, “I don’t wear masks at such events. Isme kya hota hai?” Further probed on this, the BJP leader said, “Nahi, main pehenta nahi hoon (No, I don’t wear masks).”
A day after making the remarks, Narottam Mishra has now apologised for trying to defend not wearing masks. In a tweet, Mishra said he will be wearing masks.
— ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2020
Narottam Mishra is a cabinet minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government where he handles the Home Ministry along with other portfolios.
The minister’s remarks advocating not wearing masks even as coronavirus cases rise across the country, including in his state Madhya Pradesh, was met with severe criticism.
The Congress hit out at Narottam Mishra, asking are Covid-19 norms meant only for the common people. “Is there anyone who has the courage to take action against him (Narottam Mishra)? Are rules only for common people,” asked Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja.
मास्क पहनने के बारे में मेरे बयान से कानून की अवहेलना महसूस हुई है। यह माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी की भावना के अनुरूप नहीं था। मैं अपनी गलती मानते हुए खेद प्रकट करता हूँ। मैं स्वयं भी मास्क पहनूंगा। समाज से भी अपील करूंगा कि सभी मास्क पहनें और सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग के नियमों का पालन करें।
— Dr Narottam Mishra (@drnarottammisra) September 24, 2020
However, Narottam Mishra later defended his defiance against wearing masks and said, “I normally wear a mask but I can’t sport it for a long time, as I am suffering from Polypus and if I wear a mask it leads to suffocation.”
Narottam Mishra was in Indore to participate in a programme for distribution of assistance under the state government’s Sambal Yojana, which provides social security cover to the poor and the SC and ST communities.
Indore is among the worst-hit districts in Madhya Pradesh which has reported 20,834 coronavirus cases and 516 deaths so far.
Source: India Today