Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh (MP) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president VD Sharma tested coronavirus disease (Covid-19) positive on Wednesday evening, hours after he wished a minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet speedy recovery from the viral infection, the leader revealed.
Sharma, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Khajuraho parliamentary seat, tweeted on Wednesday night that he has tested Covid-19 positive.
Sharma posted a statement on his Twitter handle. “My third Covid-19 test report has come positive. I request all my colleagues and party workers, who came in contact with me in the past few days, to undergo Covid-19 tests. I shall quarantine myself for the next few days, as per the doctors’ advice.”
Sharma had travelled to Lucknow along with CM Chouhan, a state minister and a state BJP general secretary, all of whom have tested Covid-19 positive since then, on July 21 to attend the funeral of MP governor Lalji Tandon, who had passed away at a hospital in his hometown on that day.
CM Chouhan, who had tested Covid-19 positive last Saturday, is undergoing treatment at a private medical college-run hospital in Bhopal.
At present, the CM, his three ministerial colleagues, Sharma and a state BJP general secretary have been found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease.
The minister, who accompanied Chouhan and the state BJP president to Lucknow, was the first person from Chouhan’s cabinet to have been struck by the viral infection on July 22 and is undergoing treatment along with the CM at Chirayu Medical College-run hospital in Bhopal.
The third cabinet member, who tested Covid-19 positive on Wednesday is a minster of state (MoS) from MP’s Vindhya region.
Meanwhile, CM Chouhan has been put in a spot of bother by his party colleague and a member of the MP legislative assembly (MLA) from Jabalpur, Ajya Vishnoi.
The MLA sought a response from the CM about the reason behind political dignitaries checking into a private hospital for treatment.
“I wish CM Shivraj Singh Chouhanji, who is being treated at Chirayu hospital, a speedy recovery. But, I’d like to know what can Chirayu hospital offer that is not available in a government-run medical college and hospital in the state that has been treating Covid-19 patients for the past four months, Why does all dignitaries of MP are making a beeline for Chirayu?” Vishnoi asked CM Chouhan via a tweet.
The main opposition, the Congress, was quick to seize the opportunity and sought to put the ruling BJP on the mat.
“The CM must respond to the question raised by a senior BJP leader. This is not a question of only four months. The CM must tell the public about the BJP government’s failure not to upgrade a single government-run medical college and hospital, despite being in power for 15 long years. Why can’t these hospitals treat dignitaries? The state’s healthcare services are in shambles,” alleged Narendra Saluja, state Congress president’s media coordinator.
State BJP leader Dr Hitesh Bajpai tried to play down the political slanging match.
“I have not seen the BJP MLA’s (Vishnoi) tweet. But, if the question indeed arises, then the Congress has a lot to answer for it because the party was in power, when the Covid-19 outbreak was first reported in MP. It was the then Congress CM Kamal Nath’s failure that not a single government-run hospital was equipped to treat Covid-19 patients,” Bajpai said as a counter-point to the Congress’s allegations.