Even as controversy intensified over a video showing senior Madhya Pradesh minister Kusum Mehdele kicking a boy genuflecting before her, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said he would reach a conclusion only after meeting the minister.
The CM said the minister has given her version on her incident to him and has not been able to meet him citing illness.
In Gwalior, former union minister and Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said “The state government should take serious action against the erring minister. On the contrary, this insensitive Bharatiya Janata Party government is trying to hush up the case by indulging in blame game.”
Meanwhile, a huge posse of police and media persons swarmed throughout the day in Hathupur, the village of the youngster and local sources claimed that an effort was on to present him as an alcoholic. In-charge of Brijpurapolice station, KP Sen told Hindustan Times that the posse was part of normal police patrolling.
Panna collector Shivnarayan Chouhan said the youngster has been traced at his home in Hathupur but claimed that he was over 18 years of age.
“We have his Aadhar card and ration card that show that he is over 18,” the collector said.
He said that soon a report on the incident would be submitted to the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission that has served notice to the collector among others.
State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) also sought a report from the district collector on Tuesday. Secretary of commission Ramesh Thete confirmed this, though the collector denied receiving SCPCR communication.
The minister’s absence at the cabinet meeting in Bhopal on Tuesday morning, where the proposal of supplementary budget for farmers was passed, raised questions.
The absence was laterattributed to illness of the minister.
Government spokesman Narottam Mishra said since the minister has denied the incident, the government would get the video tested to find traces of tampering, if any.
He, however stopped when asked of the place where the test would be done.
Former Congress minister Akhand Pratap Singh however said there were attempts to underplay the growing popularity of Mehdele belonging to Lodhi community by highlighting such incidents.