October 7, 2020 10:46:47 pm
Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj Wednesday tested positive for Covid-19, a health official said. Bhardwaj is the third Himachal minister and tenth MLA in the 68-member state assembly to have contracted the infection.
The 68-year-old, four-time Shimla BJP MLA said in a statement that he had quarantined himself at home since October 2 after his younger son had tested positive. Bhardwaj said his wife too tested positive Wednesday and has been hospitalized. H e added that there were some false reports in a section of the media about his elder son’s test report.
The minister said he would be under home quarantine as he is not experiencing any complications. “I was already isolated at home for the last five days. I will join the office to serve the society as soon as I recover,” he said.
On Tuesday, BJP MLA from Banjar, Surender Shourie, said he had tested positive for Covid-19 on October 2, a day before he was to attend a public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Solang after the inauguration of the Atal Tunnel.
He, however said he and his staff isolated themselves immediately, but some people were spreading misinformation that he hid his test result. After recovery, he said, he may take legal action against those trying to tarnish his and the state government’s image for their “selfish political motives”.
Meanwhile, the total case tally in Himachal has reached 16,343, including 224 deaths. There are 2,862 active cases in the state.
On September 22, Nachan BJP MLA Vinod Kumar Chauhan tested Covid positive. Sundernagar BJP MLA Rakesh Jamwal tested positive on September 20, two days after the monsoon session of the assembly adjourned sine die. On the first day of the session on September 7, BJP MLA from Indora Reeta Devi had tested positive. She attended the session before her Covid-19 test was conducted.
Nalagarh Congress MLA Lakhwinder Rana tested positive on September 6.
Power Minister Sukhram Chaudhary and Doon MLA Paramjeet Singh too had tested positive for the infection. Both recovered and attended the monsoon session. Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh Thakur rejoined his office in state secretariat on September 21 after his recovery. He had tested positive on September 3. He could not attend the session which was held from September 7 to 18.
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