Congress demands “strict but respectful action” against Chattisgarh minister TS Singh Deo


Miffed by the resignation of Chhattisgarh panchayat and rural development minister and senior leader TS Singh Deo, members at the Congress legislative party meeting on Sunday demanded “strict but respectful action” against him before the monsoon session of the state assembly. Senior Congress MLA and state spokesperson Ravindra Chaubey on Monday said Deo’s resignation was discussed during the meeting on Sunday night and that legislators were hurt over the minister’s resignation.

Deo resigned from the department, one of the five portfolios held by him in the CM Bhupesh Baghel cabinet, on Saturday.

However, he will remain the minister for health and family welfare, medical education, twenty point implementation and commercial tax (GST) departments.

“Singh Deo’s resignation was discussed in the meeting. All legislators were hurt over his decision and demanded that a strong, but respectful action should be taken by the high command,” Chaubey said. He said that there were around 60 MLAs in the meeting and most of them said such steps (resignation of Singh Deo) before the assembly’s monsoon session, scheduled to start on July 20, are not good for the party. “Chhattisgarh Congress in-charge PL Punia said he has taken cognisance of the matter, and has heard the sentiments of representatives. He said that a decision will be taken before the assembly session begins,” Chaubey added.

Sources said that MLAs close to Singh Deo were not present at Sunday’s meeting.

Responding to Chaubey’s statement, Singh Deo on Monday said, “We are under the high command and their decision is binding for me.”

Deo, locked in a turf war with Baghel, in his resignation letter to the chief minister claimed that not a single house was built for homeless people under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as funds were not allotted despite “repeated requests”.

In a four-page resignation letter addressed to the chief minister, Singh Deo cited various reasons and said he was unable to fulfil the targets of the department as per the vision of the Jan Ghoshna Patra (poll manifesto) given the “current scenario”. The tussle between him and Baghel began in June last year over the reported power sharing agreement after the chief minister completed his two-and-a-half years in office.

In May 2022, Baghel and Singh Deo again locked horns over coal mine projects in the Hasdeo Arand forest area of the Surguja district.

In the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, the Congress has 71 MLAs and BJP 14, while JCC (J) and BSP have three and two members, respectively.

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