Bhubaneshwar: Odisha government on Saturday sealed the office of the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha member Aparajita Sarangi for 15 days for alleged violation of Covid-19 norms.
The government’s move came a day after Odisha home minister Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra wrote a letter to the Union minister of state for home, Nityanand Rai, urging him to take action against Ms Sarangi for celebrating her birthday with her supporters disregarding the Covid guidelines.
“We sealed the office of the MP Aparajita Sarangi for violating three Covid-19 guidelines. She violated norms like social distancing, mass congregation and mask wearing. We have asked the MP to give a list of people who were present with her in the birthday bash. We will conduct their Covid test. The office will be sanitised before the next use,” said Rabinarayan Jethi, Zonal Deputy Commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Describing the state government action as vindictive, the lawmaker said she was being targeted because of her constant engagement with the people of the constituency.
Enraged over the government action, an angry Aparajita hurriedly called a press conference where she produced 14 photographs showing violations of Covid-19 restrictions by a number of BJD lawmakers and at their party office and public rallies. She dared chief minister Naveen Patnaik to take similar actions against his party’s legislators and seal the ruling BJD party office.
“I do admit that on October 8 last, some women forced me to celebrate my birthday for a few minutes at my office. For nearly two minutes, I lowered my mask below my nose to interact with them. However, the government has vindictively sealed my office. I will write a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik and attach all these 14 pictures to him urging him to seal his own party office and actions against the violators. I will wait for 15 days to see his honesty,” Ms Sarangi said.