Video row: Mehdele gives a miss to legislative party meet

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 22:24 IST
Police cane charge Congress workers in Bhopal on Wednesday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)

Senior Madhya Pradesh minister Kusum Mehdele remained conspicuous by her absence from the BJP legislative party meeting in Bhopal on Wednesday ahead of crucial special assembly session, even as political storm continued to rage over a video showing the minister purportedly kicking a boy genuflecting before her.

The minister remained ensconced at her residence in Panna and word was out that she is still ill. However, when HT tried to contact Mehdele over phone, she took the call but harshly refused to talk on the issue saying that she had lost faith in media.

Sources said that the absence of the minister from the crucial meeting indicated that she was under tremendous pressure following the incident. The chief minister had on Monday said that the minister had given her version to him but he would reach any conclusion on the matter only after a personal meeting.

Congress workers cane charged

Meanwhile in Bhopal, Congress members who demonstrated against the minister and were trying to reach her official bungalow in Char Imli locality were cane charged by the police. The police also arrested corporator Pradeep Saxena alias Monu and half a dozen other workers and released them later. The Congress workers were demanding action against the minister.

AAP calls Chouhan a weak CM

State convener of the Aam Aadmi Party Alok Agrawal called Shivraj Singh Chouhan a weak chief minister who was not able to act against his ministers despite their gross misconduct. At a press conference, Agrawal condemned what he termed as ‘despicable act’ by Mehdele and said that ministers of Shivraj cabinet have been repeatedly insulting people of state and are at height of vanity. “I dare the chief minister to act against any of them,” he said.

The AAP convener have also termed the statement of BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan as baseless wherein he (Chauhan) reportedly said AA{ was behind the entire incident involving Mehdele. He dared the BJP chief to either prove his charges or leave politics. He also said that such statements show that the BJP was fearful of AAP. The party has reiterated demand that the chief minister should remove Mehdele from her post and rein in other ministers too.

At Hathupur village in Panna where the boy shown in controversial video stays, large police presence continued. Sources claimed that attempts were being made to portray the boy as total alcoholic and vagabond who is adult.

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