Himachal Pradesh Congress on Saturday criticised the state government for taking action against tribals of Lahaul and Spiti district for blocking the entry of State Agriculture Minister Ram Lal Markanda and said the party will stage protests if coercive action is taken against them in future.

State Congress general secretary Rajneesh Kimta said the women in tribal Spiti valley had blocked Markanda’s entry in the district amid COVID-19 pandemic and they demanded that the minister should be quarantined as per set guidelines.

The women had alleged that the district administration can’t adopt double standards on guidelines issued by the state and Centre governments on the issue, he added.

Kimta said the state BJP leaders were flouting the quarantine norms and these double standards were resulting in increase of COVID-19 patients in Himachal Pradesh.

“At a time when people’s lives and businesses are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government and party unit is mired in infighting which is resulting in Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur not paying heed to the needs of common people.

The state government should take positive steps to revive the economy of the state and resolve their grievances at the earliest,” he said.

State Congress general secretary further stated that the state government hadn’t provided any relief to the horticulturists or unemployed people of the state and instead it was busy in resolving internal matters of the party.

“Further, the BJP is furthering its political agenda through virtual rallies in the time of pandemic which is quite unfortunate,” he said, while urging the state government for taking necessary steps to provide relief to the common man.