Haryana CM, speaker test Covid+ve ahead of session
CHANDIGARH: Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Vidhan Sabha speaker Gian Chand Gupta and two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Monday, ahead of an assembly session scheduled for 2pm on August 26.
Both Khattar and Gupta tested positive for Covid-19 in a span of about seven hours, said officials. Khattar announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19 through a tweet in the evening, while Gupta’s test report was made public early in the afternoon.
Deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa will preside over the assembly proceedings in Gupta’s absence. According to Vidhan Sabha secretary RK Nandal, speaker Gupta informed him on telephone on Monday that he had been declared Covid-19 positive.
“Therefore, under Article 180 (2) of the Constitution of India, in the absence of Speaker of the Assembly, deputy speaker of the assembly shall act as Speaker,” Nandal said in an order.
Until Monday evening, three BJP MLAS, excluding the CM and speaker, were Covid-19 positive.
Ratia member of legislative assembly (MLA) Lakshman Napa and Indri MLA Ram Kumar Kashyap tested positive for Covid-19
on Monday, while BJP’S Ambala City legislator Aseem Goel had tested positive for the virus on August 21. Goel is currently in home quarantine.
Another BJP MLA, Mahipal Dhanda, of Panipat Rural constituency, who had tested positive for Covid-19 early this month, recovered last week, while MLA Subhash Sudha, of Thanesar constituency, had contracted the infection a month ago and recovered.
On Monday, three employees — a sweeper, cook and room attendant — posted at Haryana MLAS hostel in Chandigarh also tested positive for the coronavirus disease. On Sunday, six Vidhan Sabha employees, including speaker Gupta’s political aide, had tested positive for the coronavirus disease. More than 350 employees of the Vidhan Sabha were tested for the infection on August 22 in view of the monsoon session of the assembly. The Vidhan Sabha premises will be out of bounds to all, including the lawmakers, until they have a Covid-19 negative report .
TWO BJP LEGISLATORS LAKSHMAN NAPA (RATIA) AND RAM KUMAR KASHYAP (INDRI) ALSO FOUND INFECTED
Manohar Lal Khattar
Gian Chand Gupta