19 Congress MLAs suspended in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Feb 20 (UNI) Nineteen Congress legislators of Chhattisgarh were today suspended for a day after they trooped into the well of the Legislative Assembly demanding debate over a recent jail break in Dantewada district leading to escape of 300 inmates, including hardcore Naxalites.

Raising the issue during zero hour, leader of the opposition Mahendra Karma and his party colleagues pointed out that nearly 300 prisoners, including Maoist rebels, had escaped from the Dantewada sub jail in December last year.

Demanding an immediate debate on their notice for an adjournment motion on the issue, Mr Karma said no effective action was taken to prevent the possibility of such a jail break. ''Even after the escape, the police had failed to arrest them''.

Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey said he had received notice from 15 members for moving the motion and hence would allow the issue to be taken up in the house.

However, the opposition members pressed for an immediate debate and started raising slogans, leading to noisy scenes.

Mr Bhupesh Baghel (Congress) said there was no point in members speaking on the admissibility of the motion as the Legislative Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar had already agreed for a debate.

When Chandrakar pointed out that supplementary demands was also equally important business, the agitated opposition members reached in front of the Speaker's podium, raising slogans.

Nineteen Congress legislators were suspended under a rule of the house which provides for 'automatic suspension' of any member who tries to disrupt the proceedings of the house from the well of the house. Deputy Speaker Badridhar Diwan announced suspension of the members for a day.

Mr Chandrakar said the government was willing for a debate on the adjournment motion but it could not be taken up today as a debate on supplementary demands was already scheduled.


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