Bihar BJP infected by coronavirus, 24 test +ve at party HQ
The virtual rallies unleashed by the BJP in Bihar since June under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic has affected party’s Bihar unit with 24 of its leaders, including an organisational secretary, a general secretary and a vice-president, testing positive.
An estimated 75 BJP leaders and staff at the party headquarters have reportedly been found to be infected with the coronavirus. Reports suggest that the leaders could have assembled at one place from where they caught the dreaded infection.
Most of them were actively involved in organising the party’s virtual rallies, including that of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The mass infection of BJP leaders could give the party a rethink on the timing of holding the State election, scheduled in October-November this year.
Samples of more than 100 leaders and staff working at BJP HQ in Patna were collected on Monday.
However, Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal said, “Only 24 samples are positive. These reports are of preliminary rapid tests and we are still awaiting the results of the comprehensive QT-RPR. None of those who have tested positive are having any symptoms. Yet, by way of abundant caution, they have all quarantined themselves at home”
“Samples of 110 people were collected. These included not just party functionaries but all staff members hired for running errands,” he said.
Bihar BJP general secretary Devesh Kumar, State general secretary (organisation) Nagendra, State vice-presidents Radhan Mohan Sharma and Rajesh Sharma are among the leaders found to be infected with the virus.
The party office complex situated on the Bir Chand Patel Marg is being sanitised.
Ignoring health concerns arising out of surge in coronavirus cases in the State, BJP had launched its poll campaign in June with the virtual rally of Shah who addressed it from Delhi and for which the party had made elaborate arrangements in the State. Subsequently, party continued with the spate of virtual rallies in the State as eyebrows were raised by political opponents as well as health experts.
The Congress had accused the BJP of using money power for politics at a time when the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and termed Shah’s “virtual rally” an insult to the people of Bihar.
Congress leader and former Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh had then said Shah held the rally with politics in mind at a time when people of Bihar are dying of coronavirus infections and many have been left stranded in various parts of the country.
He claimed that BJP spent around Rs 100 crore on the virtual rally and that around one lakh mobile phones were distributed among the people.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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