Updated: July 28, 2021 2:04:39 am
CHHATTISGARH Health Minister T S Singh Deo Tuesday staged a walkout from the Assembly demanding that his government clear the air over allegations levelled against him by his party colleague and Congress MLA Brihaspati Singh. The BJP has stalled the House for two days on the matter, including Tuesday.
Later, Singh Deo returned to attend a meeting with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in his chamber. “I have been called by the CM for a meeting so I have come. But I stand by my statement that I made in the Assembly,” he told reporters.
On Sunday, Singh, a tribal MLA from Ramanujganj, had accused Singh Deo of orchestrating an attack on his convoy the previous night in Sarguja district. He had alleged that it was done as he had spoken in praise of Baghel at a press conference earlier this month, amid speculation of a possible change of guard in the state. He also claimed a threat to his life.
Soon after Singh Deo’s walkout, AICC Chhattisgarh in-charge P L Punia released a statement saying a notice has been served on Singh, asking him to explain his allegations and his stand.
The BJP had staged a walkout on Monday, the first day of the Assembly session, demanding answers from the government on the matter. While on Tuesday Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu tabled the government reply on Singh’s accusations, Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik demanded that statements of Singh and Singh Deo be recorded as well.
Following this, Singh Deo walked out, saying, “I don’t see myself fit to sit in the session until the government issues a clear statement about this incident… Enough is enough. I am a human being. The state is well aware of my nature, my lineage and my family values. I have already attended meetings with the Chief Minister over this issue. The government has to make its stand clear.”
Singh Deo was apparently peeved with the Congress government not clearing his name completely in its response in the Assembly. Sources said that after the first day of the session, Singh Deo and Singh had met in the presence of Baghel, senior ministers and Punia, where it was decided that a statement would be issued denying all the accusations made by Singh.
However, on Tuesday, Sahu just read out the FIR details and did not comment on the nature of the allegations.
Singh Deo and Baghel have a long-running rivalry in the state, since the latter was picked as CM after the Congress victory in the Assembly elections.
Police in Sarguja said the incident involving Singh appeared to have been of road rage, and that three people had been arrested. One of the vehicles in Singh’s convoy, carrying security personnel, was damaged in the incident.
“One of the main accused, Sachin Singh Deo, also known as Veerbhadra Singh, is a local Congress leader. It was a road rage incident in which the accused abused the security staff and the driver. We have registered an FIR under the relevant sections,” an official said.
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