Activist alleges BJP MLC defied social distancing norms

A social activist on Thursday alleged that newly-elected BJP MLC Gopichand Padalkar violated social distancing norms while attending some public events, including a felicitation programme and a wedding, in Sangli district of Maharashtra.

Santosh Bichukale, a city-based activist, said he wrote to Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Sangli district collector on Wednesday, demanding that Padalkar and his associates be home quarantined for 14 days.

He said the MLC came to Sangli on Tuesday night after travelling to Mumbai and Pune, which are severely affected by COVID-19.

"On Wednesday, Padalkar attended public events, including a programme to felicitate him and a wedding, and also met his supporters at some villages in Atpadi tehsil of Sangli," he claimed.

Bichukale said he has filed a complaint with the Sangli district administration and the Chief Minister's Office, and sought that the MLC and his supporters be home quarantined for 14 days.

"I have all the videos and photos which I have forwarded to the district administration," he said.

Padalkar, who hails from Padalkarwadi in Atpadi tehsil of Sangli, and eight others were last week elected unopposed as members of the state Legislative Council.

The MLC could not be contacted for comments in the matter.

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