Haryana CM, speaker test Covid+ve ahead of ses­sion

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Front Page - Pawan Sharma

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 .


Manohar Lal Khat­tar

Gian Chand Gupta

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