BJP leaders including Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Tuesday took digs at Congress MLAs who are camping in Jaipur ahead of the Rajya Sabha election, saying they may catch the coronavirus there.
Another BJP MLA even said they should be quarantined for 14 days when they return to vote in the election on March
Rajasthan government would be responsible if anything happens to Congress legislator, Patel said, speaking in the
Congress MLAs staged a walkout on Monday after the Speaker refused to accept their demand to postpone the ongoing
Budget session. Later they flew to Jaipur to join other MLAs who are staying at a resort in Jaipur.
The opposition party has moved its MLAs out of Gujarat to prevent attempts of horse-trading ahead of the election.
"We brought back people from (coronavirus-hit) China, Iran. But they (Congress MLAs) went from a safe place to a place where coronavirus exists," Patel said.
Gujarat does not have a single confirmed coronavirus case yet while Rajasthan has reported a case.
"The Rajasthan government will be responsible if anything happens to them," Patel, who also holds the health portfolio added.
The Congress MLAs should be tested for the virus at the Rajasthan-Gujarat border when they return, the deputy chief minister said.
He asked the Speaker to allow health officials to examine them before they enter the Assembly when they arrive
to vote for the Rajya Sabha election as he was also concerned about the health of BJP MLAs, Patel said.
"They are respected MLAs, Leader of Opposition, party (state Congress) president...It is my responsibility to ensure their good health. If you permit, we will dispatch a team of doctors (to Jaipur)," he quipped.
The Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday discussed proposals for the urban development and general administration departments in Congress MLAs' absence.
BJP legislator Purnesh Modi too quipped that Congress MLAs may contract coronavirus infection while in Jaipur.
"From Gujarat, which has not reported any positive case of coronavirus, Congress MLAs have moved to Jaipur which
has reported a positive case," he said.
"When they return to Gujarat, they should be quarantined for 14 days...They should be barred from voting
on March 26," he said.