Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra violated social distancing norms and did not wear a mask while visiting his hometown, Bhopal, NDTV reported on Monday. This was the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s first visit to home after he was appointed the state health minister amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Madhya Pradesh has recorded 2,096 cases and 103 deaths till Monday morning, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Mishra’s family welcomed him in the presence of his supporters huddled together, and applied a tilak on his forehead and fed him sweets. None of the people present were wearing masks, which the Centre has made mandatory to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Mishra also left for his office without a mask.

Earlier this month, the state government too made wearing masks compulsory, and the Public Health Department had said those not obeying orders will be prosecuted.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which assumed power on March 23, has been receiving flak for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, as it still does not have a full-fledged state Cabinet.

In his addresses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been urging people to wear masks and follow social distancing norms. During his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address on Sunday, Modi said masks will now become a “symbol of civilised society”.