Jharkhand MP frowns on home quarantine after oath
Rajya Sabha MP and Jharkhand BJP unit president Deepak Prakash has questioned the decision of the state government to put him under home quarantine on his return from New Delhi, where he had gone to take oath as a member of the upper House.
In a letter to Ranchi deputy commissioner Chhavi Ranjan on Wednesday, Prakash said he had to go to New Delhi as he was asked by the Rajya Sabha to take oath on July 22 but was home quarantined by the state government on his return to Ranchi the next day, emphasising that he was “travelling on legislative purpose”.
He also pointed out that he “cannot be illegally detained under the garb of a circular dated 17.7.2020 (July 17), issued under the signature of chief secretary, government of Jharkhand”. The circular had said that anyone entering Jharkhand would be home quarantined for two weeks.
“In fact, the circular itself prescribed that the people who were in transit for official purpose shall be exempted from quarantine,” he wrote.
Prakash said he was scheduled to meet Union coal minister Pralhad Joshi in Ranchi on Thursday “to discuss matters of public welfare and development of nation, in particular the state of Jharkhand”. He wrote that he “expects a response at the earliest”.
Copies of the letter were sent to the chief secretary and deputy chief secretary in charge of home, prisons and disaster management.
Asked whether he would still go to meet the Union minister on Thursday, Prakash told The Telegraph on Wednesday afternoon: “No, I’m a law-abiding citizen and won’t violate it (quarantine guidelines).”
However, he said he was expecting a response from the state government soon.
Asked why he took six days to register his protest, he said, “I just consulted the Union home ministry guidelines today (Wednesday) and found those travelling for government duty would not be quarantined.”
“Everyone knows I went to take oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha and not to attend a marriage ceremony. Still they sent me to quarantine the next day. It is nothing but a political vendetta,” he alleged.