MP assembly witnesses uproar over bribery charges

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Bhopal, Mar 19 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh Assembly today witnessed heavy uproar with both ruling and opposition members trading charges against each other over reported bribing of Samajwadi Party member Kishor Samrite to vote in favour of Congress-supported independent Vivek Tankha for the Rajya Sabha elections.

As the house assembled for the day, there was heavy uproar with members of both sides remaining on their feet and speaking in unison. However, calm prevailed with Speaker Ishwardas Rohani making obituary reference and floor leaders paying tributes to former Rajya Sabha member Sambhajirao Angre and two others. The house was adjourned for five minutes as a mark of respect to the departed.

When the house reassembled, it again plunged into uproar and the Speaker's repeated request to the members to take their seats was drowned in the din forcing him to adjourn the sitting for 40 minutes till 1130 hours.

The situation was not different when the house reassembled for the third time and the Speaker expressed his anguish and displeasure over the conduct of Congress members, who remained on their feet throughout.

Meanwhile, the Speaker rushed through the entire official business of the day in about 10 minutes. The finance bill for 2008-09 and the related appropriation bill for Rs 44,498.21 crore were passed by voice vote without debate.

The Speaker allowed Mr Samrite to make a statement, but could not do so due to uproar. Later, on the Speaker's directive, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced to ensure Mr Samrite's security as he was ''facing threat to his life allegedly from Congress leaders''.

Mr Samrite also handed over a letter to the Speaker about the security threat.

He had also written a letter to the Chief Returning Officer for the Rajya Sabha elections giving details of the sequences to handing over Rs 10 lakh to him at his MLA Rest House residence here last night by a Congress leader.

Mr Samrite, who was recently elected to the Assembly in a byelection from Lanji in Balaghat district, had declared to violate the party whip to vote in favour of Mr Tankha, a former Advocate General.

UNI SP SY RS1347

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