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Congress says suspension of Chhattisgarh assembly is ‘death of democracy’

The decision of the Chhattisgarh Speaker to adjourn the assembly sine die has drawn flak from the Congress which has accused the BJP government of trying to avoid a discussion on corruption.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 13:05 IST
Ritesh  Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Chhattisgarh assembly,Raman Singh,Congress
The Congress and other opposition parties in the Chhattisgarh assembly were wanted to corner the Raman Singh government over corruption. But the Speaker’s decision to adjourn the assembly sine die meant a discussion was not possible.(HT PHOTO)

Protesting against the suspension of assembly proceeding on Thursday, five days ahead of schedule that scuttled the opposition’s attempt to discuss the alleged corruption of ministers and the Panama papers, Congress leaders met the governor late night to complain against the government’s step.

The Congress had brought a stop work motion and wanted a discussion on chief minister Raman Singh address and the name of his son Abhishek Singh about undisclosed offshore accounts which surfaced in the Panama Papers.

“This is death of democracy,” claimed Bhupesh Baghel, state chief of Congress after the assembly was suspended.

On Thursday , three Opposition MLAs, including Amit Jogi were evicted by marshals from the assembly after staging an 11-hour dharna in the Well of the House, demanding that resumption of the session.

“After sitting for about 11 hours in the Well, we were forcefully removed from the House by the marshals (at around 10.45 pm). Despite parliamentary affairs minister Ajay Chandrakar assuring that no force would be used against us, this action was taken,” Jogi told reporters.

“They don’t want to discuss the Panama paper because CM and his son are under scanner and hence all this is going on. When the government realised that the situation was getting tense and people from different parts of the state were coming out in our support, we were forcefully evicted,” he said.

“We will continue our protest and as a part of it, we will gherao the chief minister’s residence here on August 11 seeking his answer on several issues,” Jogi added.

Read more: Ready for any inquiry: Chhattisgarh minister on his wife acquiring forest land

On Thursday, as many as 35 opposition MLAs were suspended after they trooped into the well of the state assembly raising slogans against the government. Amid uproar, Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal adjourned the House sine die, which was slated to end on August 11, after passing the supplementary budget and as many as 10 bills.

Soon after the question hour when the legislators were being given supplementary business list for Friday, senior Congress MLA Satyanarayan Sharma raised objection over it saying that it seemed the state government was in hurry to conclude the session fearing discussion in the House.

Baghel said at a time when the opposition was making revelations regarding corruptions allegedly committed by chief minister and its cabinet colleagues in the House, the government was trying to escape from a discussion.

Countering their allegations, revenue minister Premprakash Pandey said that this was for the first time in the assembly that the opposition was protesting against the directions of the Speaker.

The Chhattisgarh assembly’s monsoon session, which began on 1 August, was slated to conclude on 11 August with eight sittings. However, it was ended on Thursday in just three days.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 13:05 IST