The Madhya Pradesh Assembly descended into a chaos on Wednesday over Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s tweet that party MLAs should strongly raise the issue of corruption in the Simhastha fair.
BJP MLAs came out in support of acting leader of Opposition Bala Bachchan, saying it was a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to dethrone the leader who hails from Scheduled Tribe background.
Following noisy scenes, the House was adjourned for 20 minutes.
On Tuesday, Digvijaya had tweeted a link of a local news report about the Congress’s silence on the corruption in Simhastha in the Assembly.
Parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra said the tweet was part of a conspiracy to dethrone the ST leader. Mishra said Bachchan is an able leader who raises important issues in the House. Minister of state for general administration Lal Singh Arya said the ‘conspiracy’ was part of the anti-Dalit agenda of Congress.
An altercation soon followed between the treasury benches and the opposition. Noticing the pandemonium in the House over Digvijaya’s tweet, Speaker Sitasharan Sharma reserved his ruling on the issue.
Rural development minister Gopal Bhargawa said he considered Digvijaya’s tweet as an insult of all legislators in the House. “How can Digvijaya Singh, an outsider, question the members of the House?” he asked.
Congress legislators shot back, saying in the state cabinet on Tuesday, the chief minister told the ministers that they should not allow former home minister Babulal Gaur to speak in the House. They also pointed out that it was the right of their senior leader to advise them.
‘Giving anti-venom injections at gram panchayat-level impractical’
Health minister Rustam Singh on Wednesday said it was impractical to make anti-venom injections available at gram panchayat level due to unavailability of doctors and lack of proper storage facilities.
At the assembly, Singh suggested apart from using ‘jhaad phoonk’ (exorcism), people should bring snake bite victims to district hospital for treatment.
Deputy Speaker Rajendra Singh interrupted Singh saying instead of ‘jhaad phoonk’, the minister should advise people to immediately rush victims to the nearest hospital.
Responding to the call attention motion of BJP MLA Yashpal Singh Sisodia, Singh said anti-venom injections require trained hands to administer else there are chances of complications in snake bite cases.
According to sources in State Disaster Response Force and Home Guards, on average over 2,000 people die of snake bites in the state every year.
In his motion, Sisodia said despite a spurt in snake bite cases especially during monsoon, anti-venom injections were not being made available in rural areas. Victims die on their way to hospitals in many cases.
Singh denied that the health department was not serious about snake bite victims. “Anti-venom injections are available at district and civil hospitals and community and primary health centres. CMHOs and civil surgeons can procure anti-venom injections and on demand, they can provide them to other health facilities in their districts,” he said.