Congress stalls Chattisgarh Assembly over anti-Sonia remarks

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Raipur, Mar 10 (UNI) Opposition Congress continued to stall the proceedings of the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha on the third consecutive day today, demanding the arrest of former BJP member of Parliament Ramvilas Vedanti for his alleged derogatory remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi during Rajim Kumbh-- a religious congregation last week.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress legislature party deputy leader Bhupesh Baghel said Mr Vedanti had made obnoxious and derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and others while delivering a religious discourse during 'Rajim Kubh', which was concluded on March 6.

Describing the remarks against Ms Gandhi as an ''insult on womenhood'', he said one of the sadhu, who attended the 'Rajim Kumbh' was assaulted by a group of people, accusing him of stealing two rotis. '' The government had spent crores for organising the 'Rajim Kumbh'. But a poor sadhu was beaten up for just taking two rotis,'' he alleged.

Mr Baghel said the Opposition would neither participate in the debate on budgetary demands of culture department nor would attend the question hour of the department concerned..

As Legislative Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar rose to raise a point of order, Mr Nandkumar Patel (Congress) protested saying that point of orders were not permitted during the question hour. As ruling and Opposition members raised slogans and counter slogans, the speaker adjourned the house.

Even after the House reassembled, noisy scenes continued with the Opposition members pressing for legal action against Mr Vedanti. Mr Dhanendra Sahu (Congress) said the sadhus and saints belonging to Kabirpanthi and Guru Ghasidas sect were not involved to attend the 'Rajim Kumbh' even though their followers constituted almost 70 per cent of the state's population.

Mr Dharamjit Singh (Congress) said the BJP government had politicised a religious meet by inviting only those who were close to their political ideology while Mr Novil Verma (NCP) expressed his anguish over not inviting Kabirpanthi and Guru Ghasidas followers.

Nothing was audible in the House as the Opposition and ruling party members raised slogans and counter slogans, forcing Speaker Prem Prakash Pandey to adjourn the House till 1500 hrs.

UNI JJ SP KN1437

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