RAIPUR: The first day of the Monsoon session of Chhattisgarh Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes with the Opposition Congress demanding discussion on the alleged scam in state civil supplies department and also seeking a CBI probe into it.
Amid din, the assembly was adjourned twice as Congress was adamant over its demand to take up the issue for discussion through an adjournment motion notice in the House.
As the business of the House was underway after the question hour, state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel raised the matter of corruption in the state Civil Supplies Corporation unearthed by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in February this year seeking a discussion over it by moving an adjournment motion notice.
"The focus of the entire country is on Chhattisgarh due to the scam in civil supplies department and the investigation agency ACB is trying to save prominent people involved in the scam," Baghel said.
Countering his charges, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar said the ACB had already filed a charge sheet in a local court in this connection and since the matter is sub-judice there could be no discussion in the House.
Supporting Chandrakar, state Higher Education Minister Premprakash Pandey said only "baseless" charges were being levelled by the Congress in the adjournment motion notice.
Enraged over the minister's statement, the Leader of Opposition in Assembly T S Singhdeo and Baghel charged that farmers suffered due to corruption in civil supplies department and discussion on it was imperative.
However, Assembly Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal dismissed the motion stating that the matter was sub-judice.
"Congress members have only levelled charges rather than pointing to any concrete lapses on the part of the government in the motion notice. Since the matter is sub-judice, it can't be taken up for a discussion," he said.
The opposition members, in their adjournment motion notice, have said that names of senior officials and office-bearers were removed by the ACB from the challan it had issued in connection with the civil supplies scam, he added.
When the House re-assembled after lunch, senior Congress leader Dhanendra Sahu and Baghel requested the Speaker to re-consider the party's demand for holding a discussion on the adjournment motion.
However, Pandey interrupted saying that after what the Speaker has revealed in his observations, no more speeches could be delivered in the House on the issue. The Speaker also supported him on this and asked the opposition members to take their seats to resume the business.
However, dissatisfied with the ruling, Congress MLAs started raising slogans seeking CBI probe into the scam.
As repeated attempts to pacify the Congress members did not succeed, the House was adjourned for twenty minutes.
When the House resumed business, Baghel raised the issue again, accusing the government of trying to escape from a debate on the "serious" matter, which required a high-level probe.
Replying to it, Chandrakar said the government has never shied away from discussion on any issue but since the Speaker had already dismissed the notice, no discussion could be held over it under rules and regulation.
Following this the Congress legislators once again started shouting slogans against the ruling BJP and amid chaos the Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes and later adjourned it for the day.
The ACB had carried out simultaneous raids on the premises of Civil Supplies Department and it officials across 12 districts on February 12-13 this year, during which cash of more than Rs 3 crore was recovered while evidences pointing to irregularities to the tune of several crores in the department had surfaced.
Twelve personnel of the Civil Supplies Department were arrested in this connection.