“Dekh rahe hain corona se lad rahe hain. Haath jodkar nivedan kar rahe hain ki 5 feet door rahen. Ye mahamari hai China ke dwara aai hai pure desh main. Karib is samay 85-90 crore log corona se pidit hain. Paisa sab usme jaa raha hai Aspatalein ban rahi hain. Udyog band hain. Aa nahi raha hai paisa kahin se. Aur sab dekh rahe hain. Mukhyamantri ji nivedan kar rahe hain. Pradhan Mantri ji nivedan kar rahe hain.” (Everybody is watching how we are fighting against Corona. Pleading to keep five feet distance. This is a pandemic which came from China and it has spread across the country. There are nearly 85-to 90 crore people suffering from Corona. All the money is going in there. Hospital were being constructed. Industries are closed. Money (revenue) is not coming from anywhere and everybody is watching. The chief minister is appealing. The Prime Minister is appealing to the people),” Verma was heard saying in a video clip which went viral in the social media on Sunday.
MP: In a bizarre statement, former minister and #BJP MLA from Ichchawar assembly constituency in Sehore district, K… https://t.co/ct16QUzwjk
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Hundreds of villagers had gathered at the foundation laying ceremony of boundary wall in the area. MLA Verma had also addressed the public during the function. Unfortunately, villagers and local workers did not maintain social distancing norms during the gathering and also violated lockdown norms to prevent of Covid-19 spread.
The video clip though, did not clearly mention whether the statement was regarding Covid spread in the country or its impact across the world. However, in both the cases the number of infected patients do not match the claim by MLA Verma. When contacted to clarify his stand, Verma said he will talk later but, did not respond to calls after this. He also switched off his phone after the query.
The main opposition Congress has expressed surprise over such bizarre statement by a senior BJP MLA. Congress said that the village is situated in the home district Sehore, where from chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also an MLA. Congress said the government and BJP must clarify on the statement.
“This is surprising indeed. Saying that corona virus has spread among 85 to 90 crore people in the country is a shocking remark. We had been demanding he state government to clarify the situation of Covid-19 crisis in the state. The BJP and the state government should come clear on the actual figures now,” said Congress state legal cell in-charge, JP Dhanopia.
The BJP has however, rejected Congress allegations saying the old party should support the government in the fight against Covid-19 instead of targeting individual statements. “The situation and figures during fight against corona in the state and the country has been made clear by the respective governments. The Congress should extend support to fight against the pandemic instead of diverting the attention,” said BJP state spokesperson, Rajneesh Agrawal.
However, Congress is more offensive against the BJP leaders for holding mass gatherings in different parts of state in the name of relief distribution, pledge against corona. “BJP leaders are openly violating norms during Covid crisis and there is no action against anybody. In Indore, former MLA Sudershan Gupta, in Sagar food and civil supplies minister Govind Singh Rajput and in Datia, home minister Narottam Mishra were seen blatantly flouting social distancing norms. They were also seen without masks among the public but, no action has been taken against anybody,” said Congress state media coordinator, Narendra Saluja.