After receiving backlash over an "I don’t wear mask" comment, BJP leader and Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Thursday, 24 September, expressed regret regarding his statement and assured that he will follow health norms in future.
On Wednesday, 23 September, Mishra said, “I don’t wear a mask in any programmes. ‘Isme kya hota hai?’ (So what?),” when asked why he was not wearing a mask.
Narottam Mishra was attending an event in Indore to participate in a programme for the distribution of assistance under the state government’s Sambal Yojana, which provides social security cover to the poor and the SC and ST communities, The Indian Express reported.
Soon after this comment, Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja tweeted: “State Home Minister Narottam Mishra's open challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh that ‘I do not wear masks'. Is there anyone who has the courage to take action against him (Mishra). Are rules only for common people?”
Following backlash, the state home minister said: “my statement about the mask was completely wrong and contrary to the sentiments of the Prime Minister. I have also felt a lot of inner pain about my words. I apologize to everyone for wearing masks and COVID-19, I appeal to follow the rules of social distancing.”
Indore is among the worst-hit districts in Madhya Pradesh, with 20,834 COVID-19 cases and 516 fatalities so far.
(With inputs from ANI and The Indian Express)
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