BJP MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari rejected the allegations that he broke the law and social distancing norms by indulging in prohibited activities by playing a game of cricket in Sonipat, Haryana.
He said that the game was played following a Central government order allowing reopening of stadiums without spectators. He claimed that all social distancing norms were followed during the game.
“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,” Manoj Tiwari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Manoj Tiwari also shared a video on twitter handle shows him playing cricket at a facility with spectators watching. However, it is not clear if the video was shot at the Sonipat game which is under question.
He said he is relying on a government notification issued on May 17 which said sports complexes and stadium could reopen but spectators were not allowed.
“Sports complexes and the stadium will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed,” said the MHA notification. It was widely interpreted as permission for athletes in Olympic sports to resume training without spectators. However, it was not said explicitly if any sporting activity could resume in these facilities without spectators.
Several reports said Tiwari did not wear a mask while playing and was also seen taking selfies with other people present at the ground.
Tiwari’s move has also come under the scanner since Delhi’s borders with Haryana are not open due to fears that the rising number of coronavirus cases in Delhi could lead to a spike in Haryana as well.
Manoj Tiwari is currently the Member of Parliament from Nort East Delhi. He currently heads the BJP organization in Delhi. He is also an actor, singer, director.