Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath avoided the questions of reporters pertaining to the VVIP treatment given to members of his family in Ujjain on June 4. Ratul Puri, an industrialist and the nephew of Kamal Nath, along with his wife were given a VVIP escort for an unofficial visit to the Mahakaleshwar temple where they had offered prayers.
The VVIP escort comprised of state administrative officials and police officers. Videos show an unending line of vehicles - resembling the kind of cavalcade that would accompany a Chief Minister - following which much criticism has been directed at the leader for misusing the authority of an elected representative. The escort comprised of six police officials, state administrative officials and an ambulance, all to serve the pleasures of not the leader himself but for his family.
Kamal Nath met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday following which reporters asked him about the incident while he was in the car. Kamal Nath evaded the questions of the reporters regarding the VVIP racism and drove away, refusing to answer any of the queries.
The BJP has taken up the matter, with Anil Firojiya demanding to know why the escort detail was issued:
"They should come and visit, it's a good thing, but the zilla administration issued a protocol for them, and I would like to ask the collector why this was done and at whose behest. Have the people been given a cabinet or a portfolio? Or has it been done just to please the Chief Minister? I feel this is a misuse of public property," he said.
Shockingly, when asked, the collector and police officials claimed that they received a letter from the office of the Chief Minister asking them to provide the VVIP escort for the members of Kamal Nath's family.
This is hardly the first controversy that Kamal Nath has been involved in since becoming Madhya Pradesh's Chief Minister, with the biggest one remaining the unfulfilled farm-loan waiver promise made by the Congress party during the elections. On May 23, when the 2019 Lok Sabha results were announced the BJP registered an astonishing sweep, winning 28 of the 29 parliamentary seats in the state. Following this, Kamal Nath's own government had come under threat with the Opposition BJP highlighting that he had lost support and seeking a floor-test in the assembly.