Chief minister of India's Punjab, Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that 23 of the 117 MLAs in Punjab have tested positive for Covid-19 in the ongoing drive of the government to test all MLAs ahead of the one-day assembly session on August 28.
Participating in the video-conference of the seven non-NDA ruled chief ministers with Congress national president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder said that all MLAs have been asked to bring their Covid-negative report before entering the assembly to attend the session.
"If this is the state of legislators and ministers, one can only imagine how grave the situation is on the ground (in the state)," the chief minister said.
State rural development minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa was the first minister to test positive for coronavirus but he has recovered and has been attending meetings. Only last week, jails and co-operation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa tested positive after he came in contact with an IAS officer of his department, who was suffering from Covid-19.
State revenue minister Gurpreet Kangar and industries minister Sham Sunder Arora have tested positive.
Punjab Vidhan Sabha deputy speaker Ajaib Singh Bhatti was also found positive after coming in contact with Kangar.
The Congress MLAs who have tested positive so far include Pargat Singh, Madan Lal Jalalpur and Hardyal Kamboj.
Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Manjeet Singh Bilaspur and Kulwant Singh Pandori were diagnosed with coronavirus infection on Tuesday, while rebel AAP MLA Najar Singh Manshahia tested positive a few days ago.
Shiromani Akali Dal legislators who have tested positive over the past few days are Manpreet Singh Ayali, Kanwarjit Singh Rozy Barkandi, Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal, Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra and Gurpartap Singh Wadala.
Punjab assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh said legislators getting themselves tested at the district level or at Chandigarh ahead of the session and the total number of members found positive will be available by Thursday evening.