If the Covid-19 pandemic is sweeping through the country and the world, then Madhya Pradesh is also not untouched by it. Now its direct impact is visible on the state's politics.
The number of corona infections in the state is continuously rising and has crossed 28,000. Many ministers and top leaders, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, have been infected with the virus as a result of which many leaders have isolated themselves. Even the BJP's virtual rallies have not been happening.
Many prominent politicians including the Chief Minister, state BJP president Vishnu Dutt Sharma, general secretary (Organization) Suhas Bhagat and Minister Arvind Bhadoria had recently visited Lucknow to mourn the death of Governor Lalji Tandon.
After that, first Bhadoria was found coronavirus positive, then the Chief Minister also turned out to be Covid-19 positive, while the sample reports of two other leaders -- Sharma and Bhagat came negative but they are in self-quarantine as a precautionary measure for the next ten days and will not participate in any event.
Chouhan, who is undergoing treatment at Chirayu Hospital, a dedicated Covid-19 facility in Bhopal, has appealed to the people not to panic and has advised them to maintain social distancing while going out.
Several members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also tested positive for the virus in Jabalpur recently. Of these, Yoginder Singh Yogi, head of the state unit, died due to Covid-19 when he was being brought to Bhopal for treatment.
The state cabinet meet is scheduled for Tuesday via video conference. Home Minister Narottam Mishra has not yet ruled out the cabinet meeting.
While the BJP is not holding any party meeting or other events, the Congress is also doing the same.
In the absence of party events and meetings, the state's politics is being limited to the social media. Various social media platforms are being used for sending out statements and putting views across.
Political analyst Arvind Mishra says politicians have been advising the citizens to use face masks and maintain social distancing to ward off coronavirus, but the leaders themselves do not follow these guidelines.
He said politicians are themselves responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in the state.