Uproar in Chhattisgarh Assy over PWD ''scam''

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Raipur, Nov 29 (UNI) Twenty-five members of the opposition Congress in the Chhattisgarh Assembly were suspended today as they trooped into the well of the House, demanding a statement from the BJP government over their charges of corruption and other irregularities in upgradation of the state's road network.

The house had to be adjourned twice amid slogan-shouting by the opposition members, who raised the issue of a ''multi-crore scam'' by the Public Works Department in awarding contract for upgradation of roads.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Congress Legislature Party Deputy Leader Bhupesh Baghel said the Opposition had raised the issue through an adjournment motion yesterday but the government did not reply.

Other Congress members Ravindra Choubey, Ramchandra Singhdeo, Nandkumar Patel and Mohammad Akbar also joined the issue, demanding a reply on issues raised by the opposition regarding affairs of the Chhattisgarh Highways Development Company Ltd, formed in joint venture with M/s IL&FS for upgradation of roads.

Opposition members reiterated their charges of irregularities in the deal, alleging that the entire process was carried out in haste apparently to benefit vested interests.

However, Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey said the adjournment motion was disallowed after a discussion on its admissibility yesterday itself and the members did not give any notice to discuss the issue again.

''It is upto the government to decide whether to make a suo moto statement on the issue,'' he added.

As the Congress members continued to press their demand for a statement, the Speaker first adjourned the house for ten minutes.

Even after the house re-assembled, noisy scenes prevailed, forcing a second adjournment for five minutes.

The Congress members however continued slogan-shouting and later trooped into the well. They also demanded a probe into the alleged scam.

The members were suspended from the house for trooping into the well under a provision that entails automatic suspension of those doing so.


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