Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis’ week-long isolation period ended on Thursday as he tested negative for Covid-19. The negative test result means Fadnavis will not have to wear a PPE kit on Friday while voting for Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra.
The former CM will spend his first day out of isolation in separate meetings with senior party leaders and Maharashtra prabhari of the BJP, a day after the party released its list of candidates for MLC elections on June 20.
“He had tested positive six days ago, and had been feeling unwell for a few days before that. He has been in isolation since his test result had come. After the period of one week, he was tested last night. The reports have come today. He is negative,” Fadnavis’ office said.
The BJP leader had been conducting the party’s official business from isolation, participating in key meetings through video-conferencing.
The party had on Wednesday declared five candidates for the upcoming polls to 10 seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, the Upper House of the state’s legislature, with the stamp of Fadnavis writ large on the list despite his week-long isolation.
Among the candidates declared so far is Shrikant Bharatiya, office on special duty to Fadnavis when he was the CM, and Maharashtra BJP’s women wing president Uma Khapare. As per a release issued by the BJP, it has chosen Pravin Darekar (current leader of opposition in the Council), Ram Shankar Shinde (former minister), and Prasad Lad, besides Bhartiya and Khapre.
The most notable omission is that of former minister Pankaja Munde, daughter of BJP stalwart the late Gopinath Munde. It was speculated earlier that the party may nominate Pankaja, who had lost to her cousin Dhananjay Munde of NCP in the 2019 state Assembly polls.
There was murmurs of dissent from a certain section of the Maharashtra BJP after Pankaja Munde was side-lined for both Rajya Sabha and MLC nomination.