As the number of COVID-19 positive MLAs/Ministers rose to 29, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, on Thursday appealed to all other legislators who had come in contact with them to avoid attending the one-day Vidhan Sabha session tomorrow.
The protests by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by their MLAs, were endangering the lives of people, said Captain Amarinder, pointing to the AAP dharnas in various parts of the state since August 20.
With anything between 25 to 250 people present at each of these gatherings/dharnas, they had become tinder boxes for sparking further spread of the pandemic, said the Chief Minister, urging the party to call off their protests.
Captain Amarinder pointed that out of the eight AAP leaders/MLAs who had spearheaded these day/night dharnas so far, two had already tested positive and each of them had come in contact with scores of other people till now. In terms of MLAs, 4 of AAP members (including on unattached) were COVID-19 positive, he added.
The Chief Minister reiterated his appeal to all political parties to refrain from physical protests at this critical juncture, when cases in the state were spiraling and projected to see a major spike in the coming weeks.
The Chief Minister has also ordered Truenat and RAT machines, for early results, to be installed at the Vidhan Sabha premises, as well as Punjab Bhawan and MLAs hostel, for testing ahead of the session, where only those who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to the start of the session will be allowed.
During a VC COVID review meeting with the Chief Minister and other officials, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan appealed to all political parties that their MLAs who had come in contact with COVID-19 positive colleagues should reach the Assembly premises early for testing in case they wish to attend.