MP: BJP’s coronavirus task force holds first meeting

The special task force constituted by the ruling BJP to tackle coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh held its first meeting through video conference on Tuesday.
With the Congress attacking the one-man Shivraj Singh Chouhan government over the spurt in coronavirus cases in the state, the BJP formed the task force, comprising Chouhan and some prominent state BJP leaders, on Monday.
“There were suggestions during the video conference that public participation and motivation should be scaled up to fight COVID-19,” former state minister and leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava told PTI.
“Suggestions poured in for making ration available for the poor during the lockdown which has been extended till May 3,” he added.
The task force would work for better coordination between the government and the party to fight off the virus, Bhargava said.
State BJP chief V D Sharma is the convener of the 10-member task force.
Other members including BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, former health minister and Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist Tulsi Silawat, former minister Narottam Mishra also gave suggestions, sources said.
On Sunday, Congress leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath had alleged that central government delayed taking precautionary measures to prevent the pandemic as it was busy bringing down his government in the state.
When the assemblies of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and other states were adjourned due to virus, Parliament was kept in session so that the MP assembly could also operate, he had alleged.
Congress’s Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, Vivek Tankha had also written to President Ram Nath Kovind alleging that the Chouhan government was “unconstitutional” as it was functioning without a council of ministers.
Cabinet expansion would not be an easy task for the BJP as it is expected to accommodate former Congress leader Scindia’s loyalists who defected to the saffron party.
According to sources, Scindia wants Silawat to be deputy chief minister, while Narottam Mishra too is a contender for the post.
The first four confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported from Jabalpur in the state on March 20. Now the number of cases has crossed 730.