The speaker of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly suspended 29 Congress MLAs on Monday after they created an uproar, alleging that the state government had invited a company associated with businessman Nirav Modi to invest in the state. Nirav Modi, a billionaire jeweller, is at the centre of a Rs 11,380-crore scam at the Punjab National Bank.
The Congress MLAs also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Raman Singh (pictured above), PTI reported. They alleged that Singh and his officials, during a visit to Australia in January, had invited Australian mining major Rio Tinto for mining exploration in Chhattisgarh. Modi’s company Firestone Diamond had partnered with Rio Tinto in 2010 to sell pink diamonds in India.
The legislators accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of looting the state in the name of industrial investments, and sought a discussion on it, but Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal rejected the demand. The Congress MLAs then shouted slogans, after which the House was adjourned for five minutes.
After the proceedings resumed and the speaker ignored the MLAs’ slogans, they went to the well of the House and were then suspended.
Later, Raman Singh said the charges were “baseless and hypothetical”.