CEO Punjab Tests Positive For Covid-19, Home Isolates Himself

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By: Bhaskar Mukherjee
Updated: 09 January, 2022 6:56 pm IST
CEO Punjab Dr. S. Karuna Raju

CHANDIGARH: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab, Dr S Karuna Raju tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. A confirmation tweet regarding this was done on official twitter handle of Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab.

The tweet says, “CEO Punjab Dr. S. Karuna Raju, IAS, Asymptomatic tested COVID positive. Under isolation at home taking all precautions as per COVID protocol. Those who came in contact with him in last few days, kindly get tested and take care.”

The news came just a day after the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for the Assembly Election in Punjab and four other states.

Meanwhile, wife, son and daughter-in-law of Chief Minister of Punjab Charanjit Singh Channi were also tested positive of COVID-19. However, report of CM Channi has tested negative. Government doctors of Mohali confirmed the news and said that CM’s wife Kamaljit Kaur, son Navjit Singh and daughter-in-law Simrandheer Kaur had tested positive for coronavirus.

Punjab is likely to see a five-cornered contest this election. And it is going to be a keenly-watched one with the Congress, the AAP, the SAD-BSP alliance, and the BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) fighting to form the government in the state.

Meanwhile, the farmers who had protested against the three farm bills in NCR will also enter the Punjab election. Nineteen farmer bodies, which participated in a protest against the Centre’s three farm laws, have also declared to test electoral waters. Whether they contest all assembly seats, it is yet to be seen.

Punjab has witnessed a total political turmoil last year, with the Shiromani Akali Dal breaking its ties with the BJP over the farm laws issue and stitching a new alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

After facing heat over the farm laws, the SAD in September 2020 quit the National Democratic Alliance and Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the union cabinet.

The SAD in June 2021 formed an alliance with the Mayawati-led BSP under which, the Akalis will fight on 97 seats and BSP on 20 seats.

So far, the SAD and the AAP have announced their candidates for the polls, but BJP with alliance Capt Amarinder Singh are yet to open their political cards.

Notably, Amarinder Singh had tendered his resignation as the Chief Minister citing humiliation last year over his bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Later he decided to form his own party.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which is the main opposition party in Punjab, has announced to go alone, earlier AAP had won 20 seats during 2017 election, bit had to face political flames after their 10 candidates changed their mind and party.

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