A Congress MLA in Chhattisgarh on Sunday alleged that his convoy was allegedly attacked in Surguja district at the behest of state Health Minister TS Singh Deo. The legislator, Brihaspat Singh, claimed that the reason behind the attack, which took place on Saturday evening in Ambikapur town, is that he had praised Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, which was not liked by Singh Deo.
The minister, who represents Surguja constituency, however, said that people in his area and in the state know about him very well as his image is in public domain, and he has nothing to say more on the issue.
The ruling party MLA from Ramanujanj seat said he was allegedly attacked by three persons, one of them said to be a distant relative of the minister. He accused that the alleged attack happened on the direction of the minister and he was the target of the attack.
"The accused, while allegedly attacking my convoy's follow vehicle, were asking for me from my security personnel. It means the plan was to attack me," Singh told reporters on Sunday.
"Recently, during a press conference I told that there is no rotational chief minister post arrangement in the state and Chief Minister Bhupesh Bahel has been doing a great job. If he continues to do the same work he will remain in the post for the next 20-25 years," the MLA said.
The CM post-sharing formula has been the talking point in Chhattisgarh's political circle after Congress came to power in December 2018 when Baghel and his two senior cabinet colleagues T S Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu were leading contenders for the top post. Since then speculations were rife that consensus was built for the top post based on a two-and-a-half-year power sharing formula between Baghel and Singh Deo.
"It is very unfortunate that family members of the state's health minister attacked (my convoy) on his directions," Singh alleged.
"If I was in that car (his follow vehicle) I would have been attacked with guns," he claimed, terming the incident as highly-condemnable.
Singh further said he will raise the issue before the chief minister and the party high command.
Briefing about the incident, a police official said, "On Saturday evening, the convoy of MLA Singh was heading towards the circuit house in Ambikapur town. As soon as the convoy reached near Bangali Chowk, the three accused, who were in an SUV, started driving parallel to the convoy's follow vehicle and allegedly abused its driver."
While the MLA's vehicle left from the spot, his personal security officers (PSOs) and driver who were in the follow vehicle, waited there and raised objection over the act of the accused.
The two sides entered into an altercation, following which the accused allegedly damaged the windshield of the MLA's follow vehicle, he said.
Based on the complaint of the driver of the vehicle, the three accused identified as Sachin Singh Deo, Dhanno Urao and Sandeep Rajak were booked and arrested on Sunday, he said.
The exact cause of the incident was not immediately known and further probe is underway, he said.
Reacting to the allegations, minister Singh Deo said sometimes people speak out in emotions and things can be settled through one-on-one talks.
The minister was speaking to reporters after attending the party's legislature meeting ahead of the monsoon session of the Assembly commencing from Monday. Brihaspat Singh also attended the meeting.
When asked about the allegations, Singh Deo said, “In a situation of pressure, emotion sometimes comes out. Things become clear, when we sit together and discuss."
"In Surguja and parts of the state, people know more about me than myself. There is nothing more to say than this. My image is completely in the public domain, nothing is hidden….” he added.