Assam Hill Areas Development Minister Sum Ronghang became the first minister of the BJP-led state government to contract COVID-19, even as three more BJP party MLAs tested positive, officials said on Saturday.
A total of 20 legislators have so far tested positive for coronavirus in the state, they said.
Sum Ronghang, also the mines and minerals minister, has received flak for getting admitted to a private hospital without informing anyone in his office, after testing positive on August 25.
"His action has evoked sharp reactions as these things should not be hidden. Unfortunately, his driver and a PSO have also tested positive," an official said.
Apart from Sum Ronghang, Ganesh Kumar Limbo (Barchalla), Sibu Misra (Lumding) and Bir Bhadra Hagjer (Haflong) also tested positive and are being treated at different hospitals, officials said.
While Ganesh Kumar Limbo and Sibu Misra's test results came out on Friday, Bir Bhadra Hagjer was diagnosed with COVID-19 through a rapid antigen test (RAT) inside the assembly premises.
The assembly is conducting RAT for all its employees, officials, MLAs and media persons ahead of the four-day Autumn Session from Monday.
During the two-day testing in the assembly, the reports of 14 persons, including a journalist and an MLA, have come out positive, another official said.
Out of the 20 legislators who have contracted the virus, 12 are from the BJP and four from its allies, including two from the AGP.
Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi had tested positive on August 25 and was admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.
BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, too, tested positive for coronavirus.