Chhattisgarh standoff continues, MLA who made allegations against Singh Deo faces action

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Raipur, 27 July. The political thriller that created ripples across the country is turning out to be a potboiler with little or no substance in the allegations of a Congress MLA against his minister. However, the fiasco continued to grab the headlines even as the Congress party hinted at possible action against Ramanujganj MLA Brihaspati Singh.  Visibly upset and hurt by the politics being played out on a trivial road rage incident, Singh Deo on Tuesday walked out of state assembly until the government comes up with a detailed report on the issue.

Peeved at the way things unfolded and its handling by the government, Singh Deo said in the state assembly that he does not consider it appropriate to be present in the holy place (assembly) till the government clarifies the matter regarding allegations labeled against him.  Later, he walked out of the house and headed to his official residence. He did not talk even with the media after leaving the assembly.

With this the issue which In charge of State Congress affairs P L Punia claimed was resolved yesterday, grew exponentially instead and prompted Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to call an emergency meeting of his cabinet. The party on its part issued a show-cause notice to Ramanujganj MLA Brihaspat Singh who had alleged that Health Minister T S Singh Deo wants him and four-five other MLAs to get killed.  Tribal MLA from Sarguja, a traditional Singh Deo bastion, Singh has been asked to reply within the stipulated time failing which action can be taken against him.

However, the party appeared tight-lipped over 19 other MLAs who accompanied Brihaspat Singh in the press conference where he had labeled unverified and sensational allegations against the health minister. Party also seems to ignore a lower-rung Congress activist and a party spokesperson who stage-managed the press conference and drove other MLAs to turn a road rage incident, into a major political turmoil. A Congress leader on the condition of anonymity said that all those who were present in the press conference and those who stage-managed tha act should be held accountable for bringing bad name to an individual, the government and the party.

The thriller, observers believe, was engineered to keep the speculations of a possible change of guard in the state in check and inflict an image crisis on Singh Deo who many believe, cherishes Chief Ministerial ambitions.

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