Telangana's lone BJP MLA T. Raja Singh and his supporters violated the social distancing norm on Sunday night, by holding 'mashal' (torches) and standing close to each other.
Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “9 p.m., 9 minutes” call to express solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Singh along with 70-odd supporters gathered outside his residence in Goshamahal and referred Coronavirus as “China Virus”. They also raised slogans of “Chinese virus go back”.
Not only social distancing norms, but the MLA and his supporters violated the 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. curfew norm imposed across the State to observe the moment. However, Mr. Singh was seen wearing a mask and hand gloves.
In his address to the nation, Mr. Modi appealed to the citizens to strictly maintain social distancing while lighting the lamps or flashing mobile lights for nine minutes on Sunday evening.
Speaking to The Hindu , the Goshamahal legislator said that it was not a deliberate act, but the ‘karyakartas’ were excited after seeing the great response to Prime Minister’s call.
“There were 60 to 70 karyakartas standing in two lines by maintaining social distance. By seeing the great response and atmosphere in the area, they must have come closer for a few moments,” he said.
Mr. Singh said that all the supporters who were present outside his residence on Sunday evening were engaged in preparing food for hundreds of homeless and migrant workers in the constituency.
“The whole day’s fatigue of our karyakartas evaporated after seeing the lights and candles. I apologise wholeheartedly if our support to the PM’s call has offended someone,” he added.