MP Congress submits plea to police, wants FIR against Chouhan

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Bhopal, May 24 (PTI) A delegation of the Madhya Pradesh Congress on Monday submitted an application to the Bhopal police seeking registration of an FIR against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for allegedly hiding actual COVID-19-related deaths in the state.

The opposition party's move came a day after the Crime Branch here registered an FIR against state Congress president Kamal Nath for allegedly creating panic over the coronavirus pandemic through his remarks following a complaint by BJP leaders.

In the complaint, the BJP leaders on Sunday alleged that Nath had said at a press conference in Ujjain on Saturday that 'Corona, which has spread in the world, is being known as the Indian variant of the virus'.

Nath's statement created confusion and defamed the country internationally, the BJP complaint said.

Following the FIR against Nath, the Congress hit back at the ruling party, seeking action against the chief minister.

The delegation, consisting of MP Congress working president Jitu Patwari, former Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati and other Congress leaders, submitted the application to the police demanding registration of an FIR against Chouhan over COVID-19 deaths in the state.

The Congress delegation submitted to the police the figures they had received from crematoriums and burial grounds about the number of last rites of bodies performed as per COVID-19 protocol, MP Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta said.

Besides, the team submitted official death figures put out by the state government, he added.

The BJP government has repeatedly rejected the Congress claim of under-counting deaths caused by coronavirus in the state.

“We are studying the Congress' application. No FIR has been registered yet,” Bhopal (Headquarters) Superintendent of Police Ramji Shrivastav, who also holds the charge of the Crime Branch, told PTI.

The Congress submitted similar applications to police at all major district headquarters of the state.

Meanwhile, former state Congress president Arun Yadav demanded that the state government issue a 'white paper' (official report) about the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in MP.

Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha said the BJP must take back its case against Nath or be prepared to face a proper challenge from the party. PTI LAL RSY RSY

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