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Odisha moves Centre against Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi

File photo of Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha MP Aparajita Sarangi speaking   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Odisha government on Friday urged the Centre to rein in Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament from Bhubaneswar and recently appointed national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who has been accused of habitually violating COVID-19 guidelines.

Odisha Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra shot off a letter to his counterpart Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, pointing out that Ms. Sarangi was surrounded by hundreds of women who were neither wearing masks nor maintaining social distance at the MP’s birthday celebration on Thursday.

“They were indulging in in song and dance with utter disregard to COVID guidelines issued under the National Disaster Management Act and the earnest repeated appeals made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the same,” Mr. Mishra mentioned.

“I would not have brought this to your notice, had this been the first occasion where the MP has blatantly violated COVID guidelines. In addition to repeated advisories, warnings and booking of at least three cases against the MP for violation of COVID guidelines, there is no improvement in her behaviour,” he said.

Stating that these irresponsible acts would put her, people near to her and the public at large at grave risk of life, Mr. Mishra said, “Such 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.”

The Odisha Home Minister urged Mr. Rai to bring this to the notice of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, and advise the MP to not endanger the lives of the people of Bhubaneswar, where 109 persons and five COVID-19 healthcare workers have lost their lives in the pandemic.

The complaint came close on the heels of a similar complaint against State Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Umakant Samantray. The senior BJD leaders were accused of participating in a funeral ceremony despite testing positive for COVID-19 in Puri.

Priyadarshan Patnaik, convener of the Jagannath Sena, had lodged a complaint against two BJD leaders at the Seabeach police station, Puri for attending the last rites of Pradeep Maharathy, who died recently.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 8:46:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-moves-centre-against-bhubaneswar-mp-aparajita-sarangi/article32817671.ece

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