MP Congress MLA tests COVID-19 positive; concerns mount over Rajya Sabha polls

MP Congress MLA tests COVID-19 positive; concerns mount over Rajya Sabha polls

Madhya Pradesh MLA and Youth Congress state president Kunal Choudhary has tested positive for COVID-19 in Bhopal. The Kalapipal MLA has quarantined himself upon medical advice, sources said.

Even as the health department and district administration have started looking at his contacts and travel history, the development has raised concerns over the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls on June 19.

The office of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Election Officer (CEO) has, however, made it clear that isolation arrangements will be done for MLAs who have tested positive and those who have come in contact with them.

“There will be separate isolation arrangements for such MLAs and they will not be allowed to get in touch with other MLAs during the election process. But voting will be facilitated for all,” Mangla Mishra, additional director of public relations attached to CEO office, told THE WEEK.

Other COVID-19 related preventive measures will also be taken during the voting. MLAs will be required to give ‘No COVID contact’ declaration to be taken in for the normal voting process.

Choudhary had been in touch with several Congress leaders including MLAs during the past several days. BJP has already made a demand that all MLAs including ex-ministers who were in touch with Choudhary should be quarantined.

BJP leader Hitesh Vajpayee said that 22 MLAs, including ex-minister and Congress media cell chief Jitu Patwari, should be quarantined for 14 days as they were in touch with Choudhary. 

“The administration should take this matter seriously. Also, the state assembly secretariat and Rajya Sabha election observer should take this seriously as the MLA found positive has been in touch with Digvijaya Singh (ex-chief minister and Congress Rajya Sabha candidate), too. I appeal to the Election Commission, keep all of them away from the process and isolate them under Disaster Management Act provisions,” Vajpayee said.

COVID-19 positive cases have been surging in several parts of Madhya Pradesh including capital Bhopal since lockdown restrictions were lifted. In the first 12 days of ‘unlock 1.0’, Bhopal has reported 634 positive cases, which is almost one third of the total 2,145 cases reported in the capital. 

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