In a major embarrassment to the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, the Opposition Congress on Wednesday moved a no-confidence motion against it in the Assembly over the PDS rice scam issue after the Speaker agreed to their demand. The discussion on the motion will take place on Friday when the Congress is likely to seek the resignation of the chief minister.
The BJP, which had earlier opposed the introduction of the motion, has now issued a whip asking all MLAs to be present in the House on Friday. This is only the fifth instance in the last 15 years of Chhattisgarh Assembly that a no-confidence motion is being brought in the House.
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In a related development, the government finally divested the portfolios of two senior IAS officers who figured in the PDS scam.
The Indian Express was the first to report that the names of former food secretary Alok Shukla and chairperson of civil supplies Anil Tuteja had figured in the investigation as alleged beneficiaries of the scam. Subsequently, the Anti-Corruption Bureau had sought permission from the state government to prosecute the officers. After a few months, the government gave the permission, though the nod of the Centre is still awaited. Shukla and Tuteja are now attached to the secretariat without any portfolio.