The Vyapam scam on Monday cast its shadow on the condolence motion in the Madhya Pradesh assembly, with the Congress trying to express condolence to those whose unnatural deaths have been linked to the scam.
The assembly session began amid speculation over whether it will continue until July 31 or be cut short. It began with the administering of oath to a member who won the recent byelection.
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After the condolences to people mentioned in the list of business, Leader of the Opposition Satyadev Katare managed to mention the names of TV journalist Akshay Singh and MBBS student Namrata Damor before the treasury benches objected. “Even UNESCO has expressed its condolences to the family of Akshay Singh. Why can’t we in the assembly?” Katare said, before mentioning Damor, whose death the journalist was covering in Meghnagar, Jhabua, before he suddenly collapsed early this month.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed condolences to the names in the official list, including victims who died in the recent earthquake in Nepal and India, and the bus mishap in Panna.
Katare was briefer than Chouhan. When he sought to pay tribute to the Vyapam victims and the treasury bench objected, Speaker Sitasharan Sharma rose and called for two minutes of silence and adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday. Even while the silence was being observed, some Congress members raised slogans.
Two days ago, Katare had written to the Speaker for permission to condole Akshay Singh and others whose deaths have been linked to the scam. The Speaker said he had rejected the request outright. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra accused the Congress of sullying parliamentary decorum, saying the party should have taken written permission from the Speaker.