A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Wardha district in Maharashtra on Sunday allegedly violated lockdown norms by distributing dry ration to people at his residence to mark his birthday, PTI reported. Over 100 people gathered outside MLA Dadarao Keche’s residence to receive free grains, ignoring all social distancing norms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sub-Divisional Officer Harish Dharmik said that Keche will be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating lockdown regulations. He said the MLA did not take permission from the administration to organise the event.

But Keche denied the incident and said it was a “political conspiracy” against him by his opponents. However, Keche did not identify the political adversaries who had hatched “the conspiracy” against him.

“I had invited only 21 labourers, who have lost their livelihood due to coronavirus, and distributed food grains to them,” Keche told The Indian Express. “After that I left to visit my guru Bhikaram Baba at Ashta around 11 am. But my political adversaries took advantage of the situation. When I got the information I rushed back and dispersed the crowd with the help of police.”

Wardha Collector Vivek Bhimanwar said that while the MLA did not seek any permission for the event, he had wanted to organise a blood donation camp, which was not allowed. “As soon as the police got information about the crowd at his residence, they swung into action and dispersed it,” he said. The Wardha Police also debunked Keche’s claim that he was not at his residence when the incident took place.

As many as 532 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Maharashtra so far, the highest in the country, and 24 people have died. Across India, 3,577 cases have been reported, and 83 people have died, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.