The Jharkhand government on Sunday released BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj within 24 hours of placing him under home quarantine for allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols, officials said. The MP from Unnao seat in Uttar Pradesh was "forcibly" placed under 14-day home quarantine at Shanti Bhavan Ashram for allegedly not intimating the state administration about his arrival to the district to take part in a programme.
The state government had "come under pressure" to release him from home quarantine, official sources said. "The MP had tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday. He was released from quarantine as per the state government's orders. He is free to go anywhere he wants," Giridih Deputy Commissioner Rahul Kumar Sinha said. Maharaj left Giridih for Dhanbad to take a train to New Delhi.
"Several politicians are prejudiced. Yesterday, the administration had stopped me so I stayed back. Now, they have permitted me to go, so I am leaving," he said. The administration had on Saturday sealed the borders of the district and put up barricades after it came to know that Maharaj had visited Giridih without intimating it and was leaving.
A team headed by Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Prerna Dixit followed the MP and stopped him at a barricade in Pirtand police station area before placing him under home quarantine. Maharaj had said he had come to meet his 97-year-old ailing mother and claimed that he had informed the chief secretary about it.
The chief secretary had rejected the MP's application to visit Giridih but had not informed either him or the district administration, the official sources said. "If the administration had rejected Maharaj's application, it should have informed him. Such behaviour with an MP is uncalled for. The state government realised its mistake and released him. Otherwise, the BJP was planning to launch an agitation," state BJP president Deepak Prakash said.