MP Congress demands FIR against Gwalior Collector, SP for allowing BJP’s mega membership drive amid COVID-19

Allowing such a large gathering at at time when COVID-19 cases are rising in entire Gwalior-Chambal region was a violation of lockdown norms and risked lives of local residents, it said

BJP’s mega membership drive in Gwalior in which no social distancing norms were followed (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
BJP’s mega membership drive in Gwalior in which no social distancing norms were followed (Photo courtesy: Twitter)

Kashif Kakvi

Referring to the recently concluded BJP’s mega membership drive in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh Congress on Tuesday demanded FIR against Gwalior district collector and Superintendent of police at four different police stations of the city, says a report carried by Newsclick.

Congress state spokesperson KK Mishra, Gwalior Congress Chief, Devendra Sharma along with local leaders and lawyers visited Padar police station in the afternoon and handed over four separate complaints to Gwalior additional SP, Satyendra Singh, seeking FIR against district collector and SP, Gwalior.

In a 45-page complaint, the party alleged that both the officials not only wilfully disobeyed the Unlock-3 guidelines of Union Home Ministry but violated state government’s August 4 directive issued in a view to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and categorically banned all kinds of gathering including political ones till August 31. They have also violated section 144 of the IPC imposed across the state on Sundays, the letter says, as per the report.

“Gwalior collector and SP grossly violated Union as well as state Home Ministry’s lockdown norms just to benefit the BJP. They acted like BJP workers instead of administrators,” said Gwalior-Chambal Congress media in charge and state spokesperson KK Mishra, adding that there was a lockdown on Sunday (August 23) across the state as per the state Home Ministry’s order but since the BJP was running mega membership drive in Gwalior, there was no lockdown.

The BJP had held a mega membership drive from August 22 to 24 in view of Jyotiraditya Scindia’s first visit to Gwalior after joining the BJP in March this year and eyeing the upcoming by-polls on 27 seats.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister and MP from Morena parliamentary seat Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP state chief VD Sharma and nearly half dozen ministers of state Cabinet had participated in the three-day long event.

According to the BJP’s official schedule of the event, in the three-day membership drive, Scindia’s supporters in Gwalior, Bhind and Morena districts had joined the BJP during the drive. Nearly 35,000 workers have switched over to the BJP, as claimed by the party.

Allowing such a large gathering at a time when COVID-19 cases are alarmingly rising in the entire Gwalior-Chambal region in the last 45 days, is not only a violation of lockdown norms but also risking the lives of local residents, the letter says.

Notably, the Gwalior is the third city of the state after Indore and Bhopal where COVID-19 cases are alarmingly rising. The city has reported nearly 4,000 cases and its adjacent district Morena has reported nearly 2,000 cases in the last 45 days.

“Hence, we demand FIR against Collector and SP under section 51 and 55 of the Disaster Management Act-2005, section 188 of the IPC and other relevant sections for violating the lockdown norms,” said Mishra.

He also claimed that if the police failed to register the FIR, the party will approach the High Court for justice.

The Congress has also claimed that the party will file a complaint against both the officials with the Election Commission of India to ensure free and fair election in the forthcoming by-polls.

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Published: 25 Aug 2020, 3:44 PM