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3 Chhattisgarh MLAs Lock Themselves In Assembly to Protest CM's Name in Panamagate

The MLAs said that the assembly session was ended sine die, i.e. without any set date for resumption, after they started to ask difficult sessions from Chief Minister Raman Singh over the accusations against him in the Panama Papers case.

News18.com

Updated:August 3, 2017, 11:36 PM IST
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New Delhi: Three Chhattisgarh legislators, including former CM Ajit Jogi’s son Amit Jogi, locked themselves inside the Vidhan Sabha on Thursday evening to protest against the adjournment of the assembly session.

The MLAs said that the session was ended sine die, i.e. without any set date for resumption, after they started to ask difficult sessions from Chief Minister Raman Singh over the accusations against him in the Panama Papers case.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Jogi a former Congress member who was sacked from the party after corruption allegations were levelled against him, said they would remain inside the assembly till the Chief Minister agrees to a discussion on the allegations.

Panama Papers are leaked documents of about 1.15 crore files containing details of about 2.15 lakh offshore bank accounts.

“We demand a discussion on the Panama leak accusation against the Chief Minister. We have locked ourselves in the well of the assembly. We dare them to take us out till our demands are met,” he said.

When asked how they managed to stay inside, he said the marshals never asked them to leave after the session was adjourned on Thursday and so they remained there. He also claimed that they had not locked the doors from inside, and said they had in fact been locked in from the outside.

The three legislators are now making WhatsApp videos to try and drum up support for their bizarre form of protest. Jogi said they would spend the night in the assembly.

When asked how long do they plan to keep up this charade, he said they would stay in the Assembly till August 11, which is the last date of the Monsoon session, or till their demands are met.

Earlier in the day, Jogi held a press conference and claimed that Singh and his son, Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Singh, had parked billions “looted through corruption” in Chhattisgarh in bogus companies abroad.

He further alleged that a Chhattisgarh industrialist, Kamal Kishore Sarda, was linked to Singh in the stashing of ill-gotten wealth abroad. The company mentioned in Panama Papers shared the same address as the CM's, he said.

Recently, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, too, had demanded the resignation of Singh over the Panama Papers issue, citing the case of Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified by the Pakistan Supreme Court and subsequently quit as prime minister.

Both Singh and his son have rubbished the allegations. The chief minister had described the charges as “baseless and unfounded”.

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