A controversy erupted in Chhattisgarh on Sunday after Congress MLA Brihaspati Singh alleged that his party colleague and the state’s health minister TS Singh Deo could get him killed, ANI reported.
The police had named the minister’s relative, Sachin Singh Deo, in a first information report they filed in connection with an attack on Singh’s convoy.
The MLA’s convoy was passing through Ambikapur city on Saturday evening when the accused, upset about being overtaken, stopped an escort vehicle, broke its windshield and hurled abuses at a security officer, according to NDTV.
The police filed then a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act as well as sections of the Indian Penal Code. Three people have been taken into custody, The Times of India reported.
While speaking to the media about the incident, the MLA indicated that Deo wasn’t happy about his favourable remarks about Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. Several other Congress MLAs were also at the press briefing.
“Recently, during a press conference, I said that there is no rotational chief minister post arrangement in the state and that Chief Minister Bhupesh Bahel has been doing a great job,” Singh was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times. “If he continues to do the same work he will remain in the post for the next 20-25 years.”
Singh claimed that Deo wanted to be the chief minister of Chhattisgarh. “If he thinks that by killing four-five MLAs, he [TS Deo] will become chief minister, then good luck to him,” Singh added, according to ANI. “I have apprehensions that besides getting me attacked, he can get me killed.”
The MLA questioned the motive behind the alleged attack, saying that he wasn’t even a candidate for the chief minister’s position. “I am an Adivasi MLA... here to fight for development in my area,” Singh said, according to NDTV. “Where is the competition?” the MLA said.
Singh urged Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to expel Deo from the party. “I’m going to attend the Congress legislature party meeting, where I will raise the issue and request AICC [All India Congress Committee] General Secretary PL Punia to take action against the minister,” Singh said, according to The Times of India.
Responding to the controversy, Deo said: “Such behaviour is not acceptable from anyone and the law must take its course. I have already told the SP [superintendent of police] that appropriate action must be taken.”
The Chhattisgarh health minister said he reached out to the MLA but he did not take his calls.