NDTV Coronavirus

Ex-Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tests Positive Month Before Polls

Chandigarh:

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has tested positive for COVID-19 a month before the state votes for a new government on February 14.

The ex-Congress leader, who quit his party of four decades in November after losing a fierce feud with state unit chief Navjot Sidhu, tweeted Wednesday morning to say he had mild symptoms.

“I have tested positive for #Covid with mild symptoms. Have isolated myself and request all those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested,” Mr Singh said.

Since quitting the Congress Amarinder Singh has launched his own political party – the Punjab Lok Congress – and has allied with the BJP in a bid to upset the ruling outfit’s re-election hopes.

Punjab has reported 4,552 new Covid cases in 24 hours. The poll-bound state’s active cases have jumped to over 23,000 and nearly 17,000 people have died since the pandemic began in 2019.

The conduct of Assembly elections (in Punjab and four other states, including Uttar Pradesh) – amid a fast-spreading third wave of infections in the country – has been severely criticised.

The Election Commission has defended its decision to hold polls at this time, citing constitutional needs and announcing a number of measures that, it said, would limit the spread of the virus during campaigning and voting.

These measures include banning of all physically-held roadshows and rallies till January 15, and ensuring that all polling staff are both double vaccinated and boosted.

Poll-bound states have also been urged to ensure all voters are similarly protected.

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