Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo walked out of the state assembly on Tuesday after saying he will not attend the House proceedings until the state government gives a clear reply over allegations made against him by a Congress MLA.
The minister walked out of the House after being upset over what he termed as the government's 'limited' statement on the issue, following which members of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party claimed such an incident had 'never happened where a minister expressed dissatisfaction over his own government's reply'.
The House was later adjourned for the day after BJP members created an uproar and trooped into the well of the House, demanding a probe by an assembly committee into the allegations levelled by MLA Brihaspat Singh against the minister.
Brihaspat Singh, the ruling party's legislator from Ramanujganj, on Sunday alleged his convoy was attacked in Surguja district at the behest of Singh Deo on Saturday evening because the former had praised Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, amid talks about a purported formula for sharing of the CM's post.
The MLA had also alleged threat to his life from the minister.
Reacting to the allegations, Singh Deo, who represents Surguja constituency, however, had said people in his area and in the state know about him very well as his image is in the public domain, and he has nothing more to say on the issue.
On the first day of the state Assembly's monsoon session on Monday, the opposition BJP termed the MLA's allegation as 'serious' and demanded a probe into it by a House panel.
On Tuesday, state Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu made a statement in the House in connection with the alleged road rage incident involving Singh's convoy on July 24.
Dissatisfied with his reply, BJP legislators, including Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik, said Sahu's statement did not have any reference to the allegations made by the Congress MLA against the health minister, and the two leaders should be asked to speak in the House on the matter.
Subsequently, Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant said since he had not received any complaint either from the Congress MLA or the health minister, on what basis could he ask them to speak on the matter.
Amid chaos over the issue, Singh Deo stood up and said, "Now, it's enough. I am also a human being. Everybody knows about my image."
Referring to the Assembly Speaker, the minister said, "On your direction yesterday, the chief minister had called us in his chamber and a discussion took place (on the alleged rift)...even after that, such a limited statement (from home minister) was made before the House."
"I don't believe I am in a position that I can attend the House till the government presents a clear reply on the issue. I don't consider myself eligible to participate in the proceedings of this House till the time the government does not put a clear reply in this context," he said.
Singh Deo then left the assembly premises and refused to speak to mediapersons.
The development led to uproar in the House following which the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes.
When the House reassembled, the opposition members, including BJP's Brijmohan Agrawal and Ajay Chandrakar, again raised the issue and said 'in the history of the Legislature, such an incident had never happened where a minister had expressed dissatisfaction over his own government's reply'.
They said till the issue is not resolved, other business should not be taken up in the House.
LoP Dharamlal Kaushik and former chief minister Raman Singh said it is the matter of dignity of the House and its members, and to maintain decorum, the matter should be probed by a House panel.
The BJP MLAs trooped into the well of the House in support of their demand, following which the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.
Later, Singh Deo returned to the assembly premises.
The minister told reporters he got a call from his cabinet colleagues and therefore, he came back.
He was then seen going inside Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's chamber in the Assembly.
After some time, he came out of the CM's chamber and said he had spoken to Baghel and AICC state in-charge P L Punia.