The Chhattisgarh Assembly on Wednesday witnessed stormy scenes over the alleged obnoxious and derogatory remarks by former BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh and Vishwa Hindu Parisad leader Ram Vilas Vedandi against UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during the ongoing Rajim Kumbh Mela.
The controversial MP reportedly made derogatory comments against the senior Congress leaders at a government function at Rajim Mela, about 40 km from Raipur on Monday night. The annual fair is organised by the cultural department of Chhattisgarh government.
As the House assembled for the Question Hour at 11 am, the main opposition Congress Party raised the issue and demanded action against the controversial MP. They also sought immediate discussion through the adjournment of Question Hour.
Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey repeated plea failed to calm the opposition Congress. The House witnessed noisy scenes, as the Congress and ruling BJP were seen attacking each other on the issue. The opposition was seen adamant in their demand and attacked the ruling BJP for turning the religious event into a political forum. The BJP members retaliated and blamed the Congress for trying to seek political mileage by raking up a controversy.
“The government must explain why it’s invitee used offensive language against the Prime Minister in the religious public meet,” stated the leader of opposition Mahendra Karma.
The Congress legislators unanimously criticised Vedanti’s ‘offensive’ utterances against Sonia Gandhi. As the pandemonium persisted the Speaker adjourned the Assembly till Monday. The Question Hour could not take place.
Former chief minister Ajit Jogi who was also allegedly targeted by Vedanti lashed out at the saffron party. “The incident has exposed the BJP government on how it misuses the religious events to serve political agenda,” said Jogi.
Besides serving the memorandum to the Governor the Congress leaders are contemplating to send their complaint to the President of India. “We would never tolerate such mischief by anyone,” said deputy leader of opposition Bhupesh Baghel.
The ruling BJP, however, dismissed the charges of the Congress Party. "The opinion expressed by Vedanti was his personal and the state government has nothing to do with that”, said the religious affairs, tourism and cultural minister Brijmohan Agrawal. The minister expressed regret but refused to take any action against the former MP."
“The matter was not serious and blown out of proportion by the Congress,” asserted the parliamentary affairs minister Ajay Chandrakar.
The Congress leaders however opined that “When Vedanti has been invited as the state guest to attend the religious programme at Rajim it becomes obligatory for the state government to come out clean from the controversy,” the Congress leaders maintained. There are 34 Congress MLAs in the 90 Member House.