By Vibhash Kumar Jha
Raipur: The political one-up-man-ship among the supporters of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Health Minister TS Singh Deo seems to be knowing no end, as the Bilaspur police yesterday filed FIR against Pankaj Singh, who is a strong Member of Singh Deo camp.
Reacting to the hurried action against Pankaj Singh, the Bilaspur MLA Shailesh Pandey, known as a staunch supporter of state Health Minister, candidly said, “This was done just because of the fact that we are Singh Deo’s supporters.” He also alleged that the state government is deliberately registering fabricated cases against the political workers, who are close to Singh Deo.
It may be noted, that a hospital technician had complained against Pankaj Singh that the latter misbehaved with him accusing of making delay in attending a patient. Subsequently, around 200-odd people reached the Kotwali police station protesting against FIR against Pankaj Singh. The MLA Shailesh Pandey also reached the police station and talked to police officials.
Later, Shailesh Pandey told media persons that he spoke to the police officials and they replied that “there were instructions from the top” for registering the FIR. But the police did not reveal much about that. Commenting upon the FIR against Singh, Pandey alleged that the state machinery is targeting the supporters of T S Singhdeo, as a case had been registered against him also last year.
As expected, Bilaspur District Congress Committee today unanimously passed a resolution, seeking the expulsion of party MLA Shailesh Pandey, for his statement against the Congress Government.
Bilaspur District Congress (City) vice-president Rajkumar Tiwari moved the resolution seeking the legislator’s expulsion for six years from the party for blaming his own government. The resolution categorically said, the statement given to the media, by MLA Shailesh Pandey, was out and out against party discipline. This resolution would be forwarded to the Chhattisgarh state Congress committee, for further action slated to be taken by the state-level disciplinary committee of the party.
Shailesh Pandey was always seen with health minister T S Singh Deo from Delhi to Raipur in the political drama that was in the thick of the things for almost an entire month. Since TS Singh Deo has reportedly staked his claim for the coveted post that of the state Chief Minister, the rival faction is making all attempts to divert the motive, as alleged by party legislator Shailesh Pandey. According to some of the senior party leaders, the political crisis came to the fore after Singh Deo and his supporters kept on saying in media that after the last Assembly elections in November 2018, it was agreed upon that after Bhupesh Baghel completes his two and a half years tenure it would be TS Singh Deo’s turn to become the Chief Minister on a rotation basis for the remaining two and a half years.
The latest move of passing a resolution for expulsion of MLA Shailesh Pandey appears to be an attempt to politically marginalize the legislator, for being vocal against the state government and openly supporting TS Singh Deo. Now that the political rivalry has become open, the next move from either side might well be all the more blatant.