Room No. 5 in Parliament House on Tuesday became the venue of a tussle between the Trinamool Congress and Telugu Desam Party after the former flashing an official letter attempted to take over the room as its office and the latter chose to dig in its heels, citing “emotional and sentimental” reasons. The matter, which remained unresolved for the day, also generated an animated exchange of words between two MPs from opposing sides.
It all started around 2 pm when Trinamool MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Sultan Ahmed, Saugata Roy, Satabdi Roy and Dinesh Trivedi reached Room No. 5, which is on the ground floor, and staked claim to the room, citing an August 6 letter from the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The letter said the room had been allotted to Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party “during the tenure of 16th Lok Sabha” and requested the party to “occupy the allotted accommodation/room at the earliest”.
As Bandyopadhyay and Ahmed went inside to “take possession”, staff accompanying the TMC MPs removed the TDP nameplates from the entrance of the room and installed TMC’s.
Flashing the letter to mediapersons, the Trinamool MPs claimed they were only doing what they had been asked to do by the Lok Sabha Secretariat and the staff that removed the TDP nameplates and installed theirs belonged to Parliament and not the party. The TDP leaders, meanwhile, alleged that the personal secretary of a Trinamool MP removed the nameplates.
Once in, the Trinamool MPs ran into the TDP office staff stationed inside. Clearly stunned, the TDP staff made some hectic phone calls to inform the way the room was being taken over by the TMC. “We have been told that we have been been given room nos. 135 and 136 on the third floor. But we don’t want to shift from this room since we have been here for 30 years now,” a TDP staff member said.
The Trinamool MPs, meanwhile, went into an overdrive, justifying their “taking over”. “It is for the first time that we have got a room in the Parliament House. Even in the last Lok Sabha, our party functioned without a room in the House,” party MP Sultan Ahmed told The Indian Express.
Bandyopadhyay said, “The room being allotted to TDP on the third floor is 61 square metres while the one they are currently in is just 51 square metres. They should have no problems shifting to a bigger room.”
The TDP office staff, too, got into action and distributed copies of a letter its parliamentary party leader Y S Chowdary wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on August 11. Stating that Room No. 5 had been in its possession since 1984 continued…