Andhra Pradesh MLAs ignore lockdown for publicity, ignore COVID-19 measures

21 April, 2020 | newsx bureau

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With the entire country and its citizens following lockdown measures down to the T, politicians in Andhra Pradesh, among other states, are blatantly violating the norms for the sake of publicity.

With the entire country and its citizens following lockdown measures down to the T, politicians in Andhra Pradesh, among other states, are blatantly violating the norms for the sake of publicity. In Andhra Pradesh, many such violations have happened with the recent one being YSRCP MLA Roja’s inauguration of a borewell. Despite the coronavirus pandemic spreading in Andhra Pradesh like wildfire, some politicians don’t seem to care about it, giving priority for their own publicity and to attract the attention of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

YSRCP MLA and former matinee idol Roja Selvamani wanted to inaugurate a public tap and distribute rations in her Nagari Assembly constituency in Chittoor district. She came like a star to open the borewell with women showering flowers on her, including offering petals at her feet in cinematic style. She enjoyed the episode with a smile. But it didn’t escape social media scrutiny and Roja became a subject of criticism for this act on social media. Netizens asked police if rules were relaxed for the ruling party MLA, why won’t relaxations be available for citizens? Was such fanfare necessary for opening a borewell in a village, they asked.

A few days ago, YSRCP MLA Madhusudhan Reddy took out a huge rally with 25 tractors to distribute groceries in his Sri Kalahasti constituency and violated lockdown rues. Sri Kalahasti is one of the worst hit in COVID-19 infections. But Madhusudhan Reddy denied violating the lockdown, he said he was distributing 10 kg rice and 25 essential items to over 11,000 beneficiaries including to police, village volunteers, medical and health workers.

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Similarly, a few days ago, senior YSRCP leader and Kovvur MLA Prasanna Kumar Reddy was booked by Nellore police for violating COVID-19 lockdown and distributing food at a school in the district, leading to a large gathering at the spot. After the FIR was registered against him, the MLA staged a sit-in in front of the police station. He then called the District Collector over the phone, asking that the case be withdrawn. After an assurance from the Collector, the MLA called off the protest. Instead of mending his ways, Reddy accused the SP of “over-action”.

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Another YSRCP MLA Venkataiah Goud inaugurated a bridge in his Palamaneru constituency in Chittoor with some 150 people attending the event. He did not maintain any social distancing, according to reports. With Cabinet expansion expected soon in Andhra Pradesh in line with CM Jagan Mohan Reddy’s promise to oust non-performers, some MLAs seem to have zeroed in on these stunts to impress the CM. Even if the CM has noticed them or not, social media has a keen eye on the MLAs’ activities.