Covid diaries of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the first CM in India to test Covid positive and like any sharp politician would do, he wears it like a badge of honour.

 |  3-minute read |   01-08-2020
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The biggest story to come out of Madhya Pradesh last week was that the Chief Executive of the state, Shivraj Singh Chouhan had contracted Covid-19. Chouhan had tested positive on July 25, the day the state capital went into a 10-day lockdown. He is the first CM in India to test Covid positive and like any sharp politician would do, he wears it like a badge of honour.

Chouhan said that he developed symptoms in the form of a cough and fever. He then had himself tested and was found positive. Chouhan along with three others, state BJP president VD Sharma, cooperatives minister Arvind Bhadoria and BJP general secretary (organisation) Suhas Bhagat had taken a chartered flight to Lucknow to attend the last rites of MP Governor Lalji Tandon on July 21. All four who travelled together have tested positive within a week.

main_shivraj-singh-c_080120105631.jpgChouhan announced that he would be holding a virtual cabinet meeting from the hospital room, via video conference on July 28. (File Photo: Reuters)

Politicians, especially those in power, work 24x7 and do not have the privilege of sick leave. Chouhan’s move to a hospital in Bhopal made many think he would rest and allow the unofficial number 2, state home minister Narottam Mishra to run the show. No such luck for Mishra. Chouhan announced that he would be holding a virtual cabinet meeting from the hospital room, via video conference on July 28.

The Congress raised questions, terming the move a publicity stunt and said that the confidentiality clause applicable on a cabinet meeting would be compromised. This didn’t bother Chouhan who used the meeting to share his hospital experiences. The Congress also said that the Chouhan going to a private hospital instead of a government facility showed how much faith he had in his own government doctors. The hospital brought out a medical bulletin on Chouhan the first day he was admitted. It needn’t have. The next day onwards Chouhan was interacting with people on Twitter sharing his experiences while being Covid positive. He made videos of him making tea and said he was washing his own clothes which helped him fix a fractured wrist, something even physiotherapy had not achieved. Clearly, the CM knows how to get the eyeballs. How did so many VVIPs get Covid-positive in MP? With byelections in 27 constituencies around the corner, politicians who have a stake in it are moving around, meeting people and throwing norms of social distancing out of the window. Additionally, the state government has now imposed a ban on all political rallies until August 14. Also, meetings are held in closed rooms with air conditioning and a large number of people in them, making them potential Covid chambers. Besides the CM, three ministers, eight MLAs and many office bearers of the BJP and Congress have been infected. Ask any politician how they came to be infected and most will say while ‘serving’ people.

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

Also read: What Shivraj Singh Chouhan did when Modi was talking social distancing

Writer

Rahul Noronha Rahul Noronha

The writer is Associate Editor, India Today.

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