In April this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic became an increasingly dangerous phenomenon and a lockdown was in place, newly elected state Health Minister, Narottam Mishra had made headlines after pictures and videos of his homecoming celebrations surfaced. After a low-key appointment ceremony, the minister had returned to his hometown of Datia and was photographed amid a crowd with nary a mask in sight.
And according to reports from the same time, he had not worn a mask to his office either.
Since then, while Mishra has shifted to handling the Home portfolio, not a lot seems to have changed. The Minister was once again photographed at an event in Indore without a mask on Wednesday. And this time, upon being asked, he had clarified that he does not wear one.
"I don't wear it," he told reporters. "I don't wear a mask for any programme. What is wrong with that?" he had asked.
But it would seem that this might soon change. Facing massive backlash over his comments, Mishra had on Thursday morning tweeted that he regretted his stance on masks.
"My statement over wearing a mask appears to be a violation of the law. It wasn't in line with the sentiments of the Prime Minister. I accept my mistake and express regret and will wear a mask. I also appeal to everyone to wear masks and observe social distancing," Mishra tweeted in Hindi.
It must be mentioned that the government has repeatedly urged people to remain socially distanced and to wear masks. Accordingly, several states have formulated rules and guidelines for the same. It must also be mentioned that several leading members of the Madhya Pradesh government have so far tested positive for the virus, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.