BHOPAL: The entire Opposition walked out of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Thursday accusing the Government of violating the electoral code of conduct by announcing doubling of the award money for sportspersons winning medals at the National Games.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in a statement claimed the Sports Department had groomed sportspersons who bagged 63 medals at the National Games in Guwahati.
He announced individual awards of Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 60,000 to the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners, respectively, besides declaring Rs. 50,000, Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 30,000 for each member of the respective teams winning the medals. This evoked strong protests from the Opposition.
``Since Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia is the BJP candidate for the coming Gwalior Lok Sabha by-election, the announcement was a violation of the election code of conduct,'' Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi alleged, accusing Mr. Chauhan of trying to canvass for the Minister through the announcement.
As the Speaker, Ishwardas Rohani, ruled out a debate on the issue, the entire Opposition staged a walkout.
Earlier during Question Hour, a demand by the Opposition to raise the elderly pension to Rs. 400 per month was turned down prompting members of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the JD (U), the CPI (M) and Gondwana Ganatantra Party to walk out of the Assembly. To a query, Woman and Child Development Minister Kusum Mehdele claimed that the Centre was contributing Rs. 200 and the State was giving Rs. 75 monthly and it was not mandatory for the State to raise its share. - PTI.