Uttarakhand minister Swami Yatishwaranand was slammed by netizens after a photograph, in which his face mask was seen hanging on the thumb of his foot, went viral. This at a time when experts are urging strict precautions amid warnings of a third wave of COVID.
The minister hanging his mask by the toe is a Minister of State in Uttarakhand's BJP government.
Yatishwaranand is not the only one in the photo without a mask. Four others in the meeting are maskless, including two more ministers, Bishan Singh Chuphal and Subodh Uniyal.
Uttarakhand Congress leader Garima Dasauni slammed the minister and also posted the photo on her Facebook page. ''It shows how serious the minister and others are toward tackling the infection....they tell the people to wear the masks but do not do it themselves'', Dasauni said.
“The photograph showing cabinet minister Swami Yatishwaranand hanging his mask on foot just shows that he and his government put Covid-19 guidelines... under their feet,” said Qazi Nizamuddin, Congress MLA from Haridwar.
A leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Deep Prakash Pant, wrote a similar post: "Learn from this cabinet minister in Uttarakhand what the right place is for a mask".
AAP spokesperson Amarjit Singh Rawat was quoted as saying that Swami Yatishwaranand should apologise.
The embarrassment follows state governments decision on Tuesday to cancel the Kanwar Yatra to destinations in the state to prevent the spread of the pandemic.