BJP and other non-Congress leaders have claimed that Rahul Gandhi recently returned from Italy. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
As the world is grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak, a Lok Sabha lawmaker made a cryptic demand that triggered protest by the Congress leaders in the Lower House on Thursday. Hanuman Beniwal, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s MP from Rajasthan, asked the Narendra Modi for Rahul Gandhi’s thermal screening to detect coronavirus infection. This did not go down well with the Congress lawmakers and they asked Beniwal to apologise for the inappropriate remark. Not just the Wayanad MP, Beniwal also asked screening for interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The Lok Sabha was adjourned due to the pandemonium. So far, Beniwal has not issued any apology or clarification about his remark in the Lower House. Coronavirus LIVE UPDATES
Beniwal is not the first or only leader who has asked for Gandhis’ screening over COVID-19 scare. On Wednesday, BJP lawmaker Ramesh Bidhuri said that Rahul Gandhi should disclose details about his recent foreign travel. "Rahul Gandhi has recently returned from Italy. I don't know if he was checked at the airport. Before going among the people, he should first tell whether he underwent medical checkup for detection of coronavirus. It is important for the safety of the people," Bidhuri said after Gandhi visited the violence-affected areas Wednesday. The coronavirus that was first reported from China’s Wuhan has claimed 3,286 lives across the world.
As per latest reports, 95,509 cases have been reported globally. Around 50,000 patients have recovered from the COVID-19 disease. Meanwhile, former Congress chief has slammed the Modi government over lack of preparedness to fight coronavirus. “The Health Minister saying that the Indian Govt has the #coronavirus crisis under control, is like the Capt of the Titanic telling passengers not to panic as his ship was unsinkable. It's time the Govt made public an action plan backed by solid resources to tackle this crisis,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
Gandhi has been raising concerns over the coronavirus infection since long. In a February 12 tweet, he had said coronavirus is an extremely serious threat to "our people and our economy". "My sense is the government is not taking this threat seriously. Timely action is critical," he had said. Earlier this week, Gandhi had hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the detection of fresh coronavirus cases in the country, saying he should quit wasting India's time "playing the clown" with his social media accounts when India is facing an emergency. With the message of "Here's how it's done", Gandhi had also tweeted a video of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressing Singaporeans on how to deal with the coronavirus. The number of coronavirus cases in India is 29, including 16 Italians, the government had said on Wednesday, adding all international passengers will now be screened at airports, amid growing concern over the spread of the respiratory infection.
(With agency inputs)