A DAY after CPM cautioned its MLA Tanmay Bhattacharya for taking part in a Congress protest rally against price rise, Left Front and Congress MLAs on Monday staged a walkout together from the state Assembly on the same issue and later conducted a joint press conference as well.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Abdul Mannan, who was accompanied by CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty, told mediapersons: “We had asked for a discussion on important issues such as price rise, minorities, labour, SCs and STs and reinstating officers whom the Election Commission had removed, but it was not allowed.”
“We had not disturbed the House during the governor’s or the chief minister’s speech or during the finance minister’s Budget address but when it was my turn to speak, they kept on interrupting me saying that I was using unparliamentary language. If they can prove it, I will resign as MLA and also retire from politics,” the Congress leader said while alleging that it was the members of ruling Trinamool Congress who had used unparliamentary language.
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Claiming that the state government was not ready for a discussion on price rise, Mannan said: “While the Centre has failed to control prices, the state is earning more revenue in terms of taxes. So, it is not ready to speak up.”
“They are not rulers and we are not their subjects. Also, the ruling party might think that it can dictate terms to the Speaker of the Assembly but they should not think they can do the same to us. We are not here to oblige them. We may resort to using the language they understand if they do not listen to us,” he added.
Chakraborty, meanwhile, said Left and Congress were forced to walk out of the Assembly on Monday.
“The Speaker belongs to the House and House belongs to the Opposition. This is the rule of parliamentary democracy. How do we reflect what the common people have to say if they (government) are not ready to discuss issues of SCs and STs, minority, labour, price rise and law and order?” he asked.
Former state Congress president Manas Bhunia too said the Trinamool government had forgotten that the House belonged to the Opposition. “The Speaker is the guardian and custodian of the House, not of Trinamool. No discussion has taken place on any burning topic. The Speaker should be flexible and respect the Opposition,” he added.
Meanwhile, both Mannan and Chakraborty parried questions as to why CPM did not participate in the Congress protest rally against price rise on Saturday.
“These are matters not to be discussed now. Let us stick to discussing parliamentary democracy,” said Chakraborty. Mannan, on the other hand, added: “Floor coordination has always been there. There would be separate movements and movements which we will organise together.”