Posters claiming that Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Bhopal Pragya Thakur has gone missing amid the worsening coronavirus situation emerged in several parts of the city on Friday, prompting the party to clarify that she was away due to health reasons, PTI reported.
“The residents of Bhopal are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic and their MP [Pragya Thakur] is nowhere to be seen,” the posters titled “search for the missing” read.
Thakur’s absence has triggered a political row in Madhya Pradesh, with the Congress accusing the BJP of evading responsibility amid the escalating health crisis. Former minister and senior Congress leader Kamleshwar Patel asked the people to not choose leaders like Thakur, who wouldn’t stand by them in tough times, according to NDTV.
“While on one hand, former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh is working round the clock despite his poll defeat, the elected parliamentarian from the city is nowhere to be seen,” Patel was quoted as saying by the news channel. “In the future, do not choose such representatives who cannot stand with the people during difficult times. We request Pragya Thakur to come. They have their own government now. There is nothing to worry.”
Madhya Pradesh BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari clarified that Thakur was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for her eye condition and cancer, according to PTI. He added that people in Thakur’s constituency were provided food and other essential items despite her absence.
With 7,645 cases of the coronavirus and over 300 deaths, Madhya Pradesh is one of the worst-hit states in India. Indore is the worst-affected city in the state with over 3,000 cases. Bhopal, meanwhile, has nearly 1,400 cases.