Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who is under fire for allegedly violating lockdown rules and social distancing norms by playing cricket, has denied any wrongdoing. Talking to news agency ANI, Manoj Tiwari said he went for the game only after the Union home ministry allowed the stadiums to reopen.
“I have always followed social distancing, lockdown norms. MHA permitted the opening of stadiums without spectators. Based on that, I went there and played. All norms were followed,” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari told the agency.
I have always followed social distancing, lockdown norms. MHA permitted opening of stadiums without spectators. Based on that, I went there and played. All norms were followed: Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on allegations of violating govt rules of #COVID19 lockdown. https://t.co/IPhYib0GKi pic.twitter.com/LWdYEHtfAx
— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2020
The images from the match showed Tiwari playing cricket at an academy in Sheikhpura of Sonipat district in Haryana. Manoj Tiwari lives in Delhi.
In one of the images, he can be seen, without a mask, and sitting right next to another person. He was also seen addressing a group of at least 10 people, standing in close proximity, without masks.
After the images went viral, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sonipat Ashutosh Rajan issued a notice to the owner of the stadium.
.. .. immunity .. pic.twitter.com/HagBN4Qc4F
— Manoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariMP) May 24, 2020
This comes as coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing across the country. Coronavirus cases in India on Monday recorded a jump of 6,977 confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 138,845, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Delhi is among the worst-hit regions due to the virus. The city-state’s tally stands at 13,418 cases, with over 260 deaths.