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2-min read

Debarred From Contesting Elections, MP Minister Faces Flak From Congress

The leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh, who had earlier written a letter to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, demanding exclusion of Dr. Mishra from the meeting scheduled to take place on September 11 to select information commissioners, on Monday, decided not to turn up at the meeting, forcing CM Chouhan to call it off.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:September 11, 2017, 8:36 PM IST
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Debarred From Contesting Elections, MP Minister Faces Flak From Congress
File photo of Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra.
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Bhopal: The political bickering over the status of Madhya Pradesh Public Relations Minister Dr. Narottam Mishra has once again intensified with Congress launching a fresh salvo against the minister, who has been debarred from contesting election by Election Commission for the next three years in a paid news case.

The leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh, who had earlier written a letter to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, demanding exclusion of Dr. Mishra from the meeting scheduled to take place on September 11 to select information commissioners, on Monday, decided not to turn up at the meeting, forcing CM Chouhan to call it off.

“Protest through a letter in this manner from Leader of Opposition is unfortunate,” CM Chouhan told media at a function on Monday. Soon after, CM fired a missive to Ajay Singh claiming that High Court had stayed EC action against Dr. Mishra and the matter was sub-judice.

In the given circumstances, there was no issue in keeping Dr. Mishra in the committee, and I don’t find any reason to make changes, CM Chouhan said in the letter.

In no time, Singh, too, responded with a letter, claiming that Dr. Mishra had not secured any stay against EC order at Gwalior, Jabalpur and Delhi high courts.

“The Supreme Court, though, offered interim relief to Dr. Mishra which was not permanent,” said Singh, reminding Chouhan that the SC and Delhi HC had turned down Dr. Mishra’s plea for permission to be present in state assembly during monsoon session that saw voting for President’s election.

Underlining the importance of the constitutional right -- RTI, Singh claimed that any decision taken in the presence of Dr. Mishra does not seem proper.

“This is no ill-intentioned political agenda. It only aims to ensure that the decision taken by the government does not court any controversy,” the senior Congress leader said.

Meanwhile, Congress chief spokesperson KK Mishra welcomed CM’s letter, saying that it was perhaps the first letter in which the chief minister replied to any Congress leader in the last 11 years of his rule.

“If CM considers Dr. Narottam Mishra innocent, he should explain why the latter was disallowed to vote in the Presidential election,” he asked.

Senior RTI activist and member Transparency International Ajay Dubey, while demanding a merit-based selection of information commissioners, wrote an e-mail to Gujarat Governor OP Kohli (in charge governor of MP), urging him to ensure that objections of Leader of Opposition are given due respect in MP.

Out of 11 posts of Information Commissioners, seven posts are lying vacant at Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission.

Interestingly, despite vociferous demands from Congress, Shivraj government has refused to sack Dr. Mishra from the cabinet.

The committee meant for appointing information commissioners comprises CM Shivraj, cabinet minister recommended by the CM (Dr. Narottam Mishra) and the Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh.

Petitioned by Dr. Mishra against EC order, the Delhi High Court heard his counsel’s arguments on Thursday and posted the matter for further hearing on September 13.

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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