INDIA

In Chhattisgarh, tension continues in Congress

In Chhattisgarh, tension continues in Congress, the vie

FIR filed against Congress secretary, who is a ‘supporter’ of CM aspirant Singh Deo

As uncertainty over change of guard in Chhattisgarh continues, supporters of Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo complained of intimidation by police following an FIR against Congress secretary Pankaj Singh for allegedly manhandling a paramedic at the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences.

Mr. Deo, who has staked claim for the Chief Minister’s post as part of a 2018 arrangement of rotational tenure that he claims was agreed upon between him and Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, has been in Delhi since Monday. He has said it is a personal visit. So far, he has not met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi or any other functionary at the party headquarters, to avoid speculation of renewed effortsby him to lobby for the post. He is leaving for Raipur on Friday.

 

Mr. Gandhi is expected to visit the State next week. He is coming on an invitation from Mr Baghel.

The tension between the two sides in the State has refused to subside. Mr. Deo’s supporters held a demonstration outside the Kotwali police station in Bilaspur on Wednesday to protest against the FIR. Mr. Singh himself has described it as an act of revenge. He claimed that he was only intervening because the hospital staff refused to conduct an MRI on a poor patient. The FIR was also filed days after the incident, the supporters claimed.

 

The Bilaspur police booked Mr. Singh based on a CCTV footage retrieved from the hospital. Bilaspur MLA Shailesh Pandey said the action was unfortunate and it had been taken only because Mr. Singh was a supporter of Mr. Deo.

“This FIR is just the tip of the iceberg, the police have been told to dig up dirt on everyone who is supporting Mr. Deo. Discreet investigation are also on against Mr. Deo himself,” a Congress leader close to Mr. Deo said.

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