Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath

Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath has submitted a breach of privilege notice against some health officials, alleging they gave misleading information about the coronavirus infection among employees of the state Assembly to postpone its winter session.

The notice, signed by MP Congress president Kamal Nath and party MLAs Sajjan Singh Verma, Dr Govind Singh and PC Sharma, was submitted to the office of the state Assembly speaker on Saturday.

The state Assembly's three-day winter session, earlier scheduled to begin on December 28 last year, was postponed in view of the "COVID-19 situation" following an all-party meeting, an Assembly official said last month.

"The three days (of the washed out session) will be added in the budget session, which would be a lengthy one," the official had said. The announcement was made after protem speaker Rameshwar Sharma disclosed that 61 employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat and five MLAs had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Congress leaders in their notice accused senior health department officials, including two IAS officers, of playing "suspicious and "conspiring" roles in the postponement of the Assembly's winter session, by providing wrong data and information about the spread of COVID-19 infection among the Assembly employees.

They pointed out that most those who tested positive for coronavirus are not employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat. The notice alleged that officials presented wrong data of the coronavirus positive status during the all-party meeting and mislead the Assembly members.

"This is a conspiracy against the Assembly and its members for the cancellation of notification issued for convening the winter session," the notice said. Meanwhile, protem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma said he has yet not seen the copy of the privilege notice.

State BJP secretary and spokesman Rajneesh Jain said a decision on the notice has to be taken by the Assembly speaker. "The Congress is frustrated after being repeatedly ignored by people, so it is targeting state officials and constitutional institutions," he said.

Former minister and Congress MLA PC Sharma alleged that the health department officials not only gave misleading information about the coronavirus status (of Assembly staff and MLAs), but also directed the Assembly to postpone the session.

"So, we have demanded action against these officials for breach of privilege," he said. The budget session of the state Assembly will be held from February 22 to March 26.

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