Why aren't you social distancing? Twitter asks Shashi Tharoor, President Kovind after breakfast event amid coronavirus outbreak
Photo: President of India/Twitter

With the total number of coronavirus cases in India crossing 150 on Wednesday, social distancing is being encouraged. Many states have shut down public places such as theatres, malls, gyms and swimming pools, and people are being encouraged to work from home and travel only if necessary.

On Wednesday afternoon, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi took to Twitter to urge the Parliament to adjourn the Budget Session amid the escalating threat from the virus.

While the Parliament began screening people using thermal scanners on Wednesday, Tharoor had argued that this may not be enough, stating that during the Session, parliamentarians sit "cheek-by-jowl on narrow benches" -- a far cry from the social distancing measures being advocated by the government

Ironically, the Congress MP soon found himself facing flak for the exact same reason.

To provide a bit of context, Tharoor had re-shared a photo posted on Twitter on the same day by President Ram Nath Kovind where the latter had organised a breakfast get together for South Indian MPs. The leaders from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana had been hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 17.

A similar event was held today, this time with Members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan partaking of breakfast at his residence.

Following the posts, both the President and the Thiruvananthapuram MP came under criticism from netizens.

"Not even the MPs can resist the lure of free food. Never mind the directives about social distancing," wrote one user.

"No Problem with this gathering sir?" asked another user attaching a screenshot of Tharoor's tweet on the Parliament.

"@rashtrapatibhvn u need to send the right signals, it is not business as usual, a virtual meeting would have been a great example," wrote a third.

Take a look at some of the responses.

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Free Press Journal