Home / India News / In Madhya Pradesh, BJP MLA, wife test Covid-19 positive, cause flutter among lawmakers
A BJP MLA and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 causing a flutter in the BJP state unit and Congress both and also among the assembly staff as the MLA had attended the BJP legislature party meetings on Wednesday and Thursday and cast his vote during the Rajya Sabha polls held at the assembly premises on Friday, according to legislators from Congress and BJP.
The MLA happens to be the second legislator in the state to be infected with Covid-19. Earlier, a Congress MLA tested positive for the virus. He turned up in a personal protective equipment (PPE) kit in the state assembly on Friday afternoon to cast his vote. He, however, had been given the facility of a postal ballot that he didn’t go for.
The state Congress has accused the BJP MLA of putting in peril the life of other legislators including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who chaired the BJP legislature party meetings and also cast his vote in RS polls, state assembly secretariat staff and the selected media people who were allowed to cover the Rajya Sabha polls amid the Covid-19 situation.
State Congress spokesperson Ajay Yadav said, “We have learnt that the BJP MLA got samples of his wife and himself tested for coronavirus two days back but still he attended the BJP legislature party meetings, mingled with other MLAs and BJP leaders. He has committed a grave offence by concealing the information about his health and he should be immediately booked for spreading the virus knowingly as was done in several other cases in the state.”
The MLA confirmed that he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19. However, he said, they went for the test on Friday only.
“When my wife complained about fever we got our samples tested on Friday. Now we are going to be hospitalised,” the MLA said over phone.
State BJP spokesperson and MLA Rameshwar Sharma said, “I can’t comment on whether the MLA knew about his health conditions but we are alert about our health and consulting doctors as to what to do. However, certain MLAs have gone to hospitals too for their test today. Another concern is many MLAs who came from other districts to Bhopal to cast their votes have returned to their homes. If any of these MLAs test positive for coronavirus, his family members too will be prone to contracting the disease and so will the others who are in contact with him.”
Congress MLA and former minister PC Sharma said, “Certainly we were all almost together in a closed area during the poll. I was the election agent for the party candidate Digvijaya Singh. In that capacity, I met the assembly staff too and received the certificate of election from the returning officer in presence of several others. Even otherwise, we put signatures on papers that might have been touched by the infected MLA too. Some MLAs have gone to the government hospital for their test. We are also consulting doctors.”
State assembly principal secretary and returning officer for Rajya Sabha election AP Singh said, “We all followed all required safety measures including social distancing norms and the state assembly premises was sanitised on Friday. But it’s a matter of concern if the MLA removed his face mask to talk to others or some legislators and others might have come close to him. That’s why we are looking at the CCTV footage to find out if the infected MLA had removed his face mask while interacting with other MLAs and to know how many MLAs and assembly staff came in contact with him or stood close to him.”
As many as 206 MLAs cast their votes on Friday during the Rajya Sabha polls. They include the Congress MLA who tested positive for coronavirus. He, however, appeared in a PPE kit to cast his vote. The other MLAs include 107 from BJP including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and five ministers, 91 from Congress, four independent, 2 BSP and 1 SP MLAs. The Rajya Sabha candidates Digvijaya Singh from Congress and Sumer Singh Solanki from BJP were also there.