BJP leader Narottam Mishra made the comment when he was asked why he was not wearing a mask at an event in Indore.

Narottam Mishra sitting at his office He is seen sitting upright wearing a white kurta and salmon pink Nehru jacket He has a red tilak on his forehead There is a banner with some Hindi words printed on it in the background
Coronavirus Controversy Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 12:39

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who came under fire for his ‘I don't wear a mask’ comment, took to Twitter to issue an apology on Thursday. On Wednesday, when the 60-year old BJP leader was asked why he was not wearing a mask at an event in Indore, he responded, “I don’t wear (masks) in any programme. So what!”

Taking to Twitter to apologise for his comment, after much criticism, he wrote in Hindi: “My statement about wearing masks appears to be in violation of the law. This was not in line with the sentiment of the Prime Minister. I admit that it was my mistake and express regret. I will wear a mask myself. I will also appeal to society to wear all masks and follow the rules of social distancing.”

According to the rules laid down by the government of India, it is compulsory to wear a mask when stepping outside to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Congress party had launched an attack on the Minister for flouting the rules and asked if rules were only meant for the public. “Is there anyone who has the courage to take action against him (Mishra). Are rules only for common people?” tweeted Narendra Saluja, the spokesperson for Madhya Pradesh Congress.

However, Mishra continued to downplay his comments by saying that he could not wear masks for a long period of time due to his medical condition. According to PTI, he said, “I normally wear a mask but I can’t sport it for a long time, as I am suffering from Polypus (tissue growth in mucous membrane) and if I wear a mask it leads to suffocation.”

Mishra was in Indore to take part in a programme for distribution of assistance for the poor under the state government’s Sambal Yojana. Other ministers who attended the event were wearing masks.

Madhya Pradesh has over 1.13 lakh COVID-19 cases so far and has recorded over 2,000 deaths that are linked to the disease. Indore, which is the worst-affected district in the state, has reported 20,834 cases and 516 COVID-19 deaths.

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