In a case of appalling insensitivity, a video purportedly showing two ministers in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh laughing during a condolence meet for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday, Aug 23 went viral on social media.
The video showed state Agriculture Minister Brijmohan Agrawal and Health Minister Ajay Chandrakar talking to each other and laughing while sitting on the stage. The video also showed a laughing Mr Chandrakar slapping the table in front of him. State BJP chief Dharamlal Kaushik is seen grabbing Mr Chandrakar's hand to indicate that they should not laugh. Chief Minister Raman Singh was also present at the meet.
According to reports, Opposition Congress slammed the two ministers after the video attracted attention on social media. "The top BJP leadership had been ignoring Atal ji when he was alive. Now this act of senior BJP ministers has clearly shown how much respect they have for their veteran leader. This is highly objectionable," said state Congress general secretary Shailesh Nitin Trivedi.
The BJP had taken out a procession of the urn from the Raipur airport to the old party headquarters 'Ekatm Parisar' in the city. After the urn reached the party office, a condolence meeting was held.
The asthi visarjan (immersion of ashes in river) ritual of the late PM will be done at the confluence of Mahanadi, Pairi and Sondur river in Chhattisgarh's town Ranjim on Aug 24.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah and other senior leaders on Wednesday, Aug 22 distributed urns carrying Vajpayee's ashes to party presidents of all state units.
(With inputs from PTI)