Devendra Fadnavis, BJP in-charge for Bihar, has tested positive for Covid-19 and gone into isolation days before first phase polling in the state. The former Maharashtra chief minister is the second big name from the party to test positive in Bihar after deputy chief minister Sushil Modi. In a tweet on Friday afternoon, the former Maharashtra chief minister wrote: "God wants me to stop for a while and take a break!"
Counting Fadnavis, a total of seven leaders from the NDA have tested positive in Bihar. The others are BJP leaders Sushil Modi, Shahnawaz Hussain, Rajeev Pratap Rudy, Mangal Pandey, and JD-U’s Vijay Kumar Manjhi.
Just days before Fadnavis, Saran MP Rajiv Pratap and Shahnawaz Hussain, the star campaigner for the BJP in the upcoming Bihar assembly elections, had announced the news of having tested positive. Sharing the news on Twitter on Wednesday, Hussain said those who came in contact with him should undergo Covid-19 test as per guidelines of the Health Ministry.
A day later on Thursday — on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meetings for the assembly elections in the state — Sushil Kumar Modi, announced that he, too, had tested positive for the virus and was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Patna. Modi said his parameters are perfectly normal adding that he will be back soon for campaigning.
Last week, Election Commission had asked political parties in Bihar to maintain crowd discipline in adherence to Covid guidelines. But experts have said that despite the Covid-19 guidelines of wearing masks, social distancing and thermal checking, several instances of prototol violations have been witnessed at the rallies.
Voting for Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7 in one of the biggest elections globally during the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by counting of votes on November 10.
Earlier this week, the BJP in its poll manifesto for Bihar promised "free coronavirus vaccination for all". The poll promise, however, drew criticism from opposition leaders across party lines.