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Cong-Trinamool clash over privilege motion

Assembly Ex-Cong MLA had allegedly called Speaker biased.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: September 25, 2012 3:28:01 am

Assembly Ex-Cong MLA had allegedly called Speaker biased

The first confrontation between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress after the recent split took place in the Assembly today over the issue of serving a privilege motion on former MLA and Congress leader Arunabha Ghosh,who allegedly cast aspersions on Speaker Biman Banerjee during a TV programme.

Two journalists of the channel were also served with the same charge.

Government chief whip Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay moved the motion,saying the comments of Ghosh on a programme of a private TV channel on July 9 contained insinuations of partiality and denigrated the Speaker and that the motion should be referred to the privilege committee of the Assembly. Both the Congress and the CPM opposed the motion,saying the comments should not be given much importance.

“Why should we be so serious about such comments in the media? Recently we saw one MP in the Rajya Sabha advising the Chair to do something during a tumultuous scene but no action was taken,” Rabindranath Chattopadhyay,Congress MLA from Katwa,said opposing the motion.

After hearing all sides and amid shouting by members from all parties,Banerjee referred the matter to the privilege committee headed by Deputy Speaker Sonali Guha.

Later,former state minister Manoj Chakrabarty told The Indian Express that no action was taken against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she threw a shawl at then Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma during a session. “If that was not a breach of privilege,why should a privilege motion be carried against Ghosh? Actually they have targeted the Congress,” Chakrabarty,a Congress leader who was a minister in the Mamata cabinet but quit over a difference of opinion with the chief minister,said.

Leader of Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra also supported the Congress,saying such comments should not be given much importance.

However,minister for parliamentary affairs Partha Chatterjee said that unless people making disparaging remarks against the chair are taken to task,it would send a wrong signal.

Bengal hopes Centre will clear deep sea port project

The state government is optimistic about the Union Cabinet’s approval for the proposed deepsea port at Sagar soon,though the Trinamool Congress,the major constituent in the government,has pulled out support from the UPA government. “Last week,the secretary from the Ministry of Shipping was in the city. We had a discussion over the proposed port and we expect the project to be discussed for its clearance soon,” principal secretary,Department of Commerce and Industries,Alapan Bandyopadhyay,said here on Monday. The Cabinet is likely to take up the project by the end of this month.

As per the initial discussion,a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed between the Centre and the state for the project,Bandyopadhyay said. “While the Centre may hold 74 per cent,the state will have an equity of 26 per cent,” he said. The SPV will execute the Rs 5,000-6,000 crore deepsea port under the PPP model,he added. Bandyopadhyay said industrialists like Shapoorji Pallonji have already shown interest in projects like this.

Cong MLAs leave treasury benches

The Assembly sported a new look on Monday with the Congress members,including the former ministers,shifting to the Opposition benches from the Treasury which they occupied till they withdrew support to the government last Saturday.

The Congress did not stake its claim for the post of Leader of Opposition as senior leader Manas Bhunia,a former minister,was in Delhi for consultations and CLP leader Mohammad Sohrab was in Jangipur for campaigning. The state unit of the Congress has called an extended executive committee meeting on October 12 to discuss its strategy. The Congress has 42 members in the 294-member Assembly and the CPM has 38 members. However,the combined strength of the CPM-led Left Front is 60 in the Assembly.

CPM backs Congress on Privilege motion

The CPM also supported the Congress in its opposition to sending a privilege motion against former MLA Arunabha Ghosh to the privilege committee of the House. This led many of the Trinamool Congress members to allege that the Congress and the CPM had joined hands.

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