An apparent jibe at the Trinamool Congress over the Saradha scam led to a bitter confrontation in the Lok Sabha Friday.
When TMC members did not protest as vociferously as the Congress in the House, Congress MP Sushmita Deb reportedly called out to Trinamool’s Kalyan Banerjee and said: “Come, join us. Mamata is a street fighter, do not let this Modi scare you with Saradha.”
Viewing this as a potshot at TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, Kalyan lost his cool and questioned Deb’s political credentials, saying that she owed her ticket to her father.
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A few minutes later, tension again flared in the lobby when Banerjee allegedly made some derogatory references to Deb’s ailing father, former Union minister Santosh Mohan Deb.
The confrontation reached a point that Deb had to be shepherded away by party senior Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Scindia later went and apologised to the TMC on her behalf and said she would also call up Kalyan in the evening.
“He is a very senior Parliamentarian. I am happy to apologise to him if I have offended him in any way. I will call him up tonight,” Deb said.
Sources, however, said the Silchar MP is upset about the remarks which Kalyan reportedly made about her father, especially because she is known to share a good rapport with Kalyan.
When contacted, Kalyan said, “I have no less respect for Santosh Mohan Deb than she does.”
He also claimed Deb had made “snide remarks” about his party chief. “In the place in the lobby where MPs mark their attendance, she alleged that we have compromised. She said Mamata is finished. How dare she make such a comment about my leader. I immediately went and told Kamal Nath that if such comments are made by Congress MPs, then we too could make personal comments against them. I told her, who is she in politics to say such things? She just got a ticket because of her father,” Kalyan said, adding that he did not make any derogatory comments about Santosh Mohan Deb.
While the TMC immediately took up the matter with the Speaker, it later said that after Scindia’s apology, it would not pursue the matter further or lodge a formal complaint.