Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday told the Assembly that she would attend the House whenever she wanted to and added there was nothing she could do if the Opposition had no questions for her departments.
She was responding to opposition Left Front members staging a walkout protesting her absence from the House, minutes after the proceedings for the day began. She entered the House nearly 45 minutes after the Left had walked out.
When the Speaker was about to adjourn the House for recess regretting the walkout, Mamata rose and said, “If there are no questions, why should I come? I will come whenever I want to. I give most time to the Honourable House. If there is no subject, what should I do by coming here,” she said.
The Chief Minister said that “there was only one question on land which is sub-judice” and the opposition were informed of it.
Speaker Biman Banerjee regretted the walkout by the Left members and said that they should be more patient. “It is a matter of immense regret that the Opposition members resorted to a walkout in the morning, even as the Chief Minister has come to House,” the Speaker said.
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He said that the Chief Minister has been present in the House on several days during the session.
While the Left Front members walked out of the House demanding the chief minister’s presence, the Congress members also did so when an adjournment motion brought by them was not allowed.
Immediately after the House started business for the day at 11 am, Left members trooped to the well and shouted slogans demanding the CM’s presence in the Assembly.
They walked out of the House at 11.08 and said that they would boycott it for the day, alleging that the chief minister was hardly present in the House.
As the Question Hour was proceeding, Mamata entered the House at 11.50 am. Following the end of the Question Hour, the Congress brought an adjournment motion claiming police atrocities on students at the Baharampur College yesterday.
The Speaker disallowed the motion, but allowed it to be read out in the House. Congress member Manoj Chakraborti read out the motion and demanded a discussion. As the Speaker refused, the Congress members walked out of the House in protest.