July 17, 2021 3:57:59 am
Leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday attended a hearing in Speaker Biman Banerjee’s chamber on his party’s plea to disqualify Mukul Roy as MLA, and said the BJP might move court if the outcome of the hearing is not satisfactory. Adhikari urged the speaker to take a decision at the earliest.
“We want a specific time frame within which the hearing will be completed. We want Roy to get disqualified as soon as possible. We are considering our legal options. The party may move court,” said the BJP leader.
He added, “We have already provided a 64-page dossier to the office of the speaker. The process of hearing should not take too long. We have great respect for the speaker’s chair but past experiences have made us sceptics. Over the last 10 years, there have been at least 50 cases of such defections in West Bengal. We don’t have confidence in this [TMC] government.”
The BJP leader said the dossier includes documents, audio clips and video footage backing the party’s demand that Roy should be disqualified under the anti-defection law for winning from Krishnanagar Uttar on a BJP ticket and switching back to the TMC soon after. Sources in the Assembly said Banerjee sought certain clarifications from Adhikari during the hearing. According to Adhikari, the next hearing is scheduled for July 30.
On June 13, eight BJP legislators resigned as heads of various state Assembly panels in protest against Roy’s appointment as the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), a post that is by convention reserved for a legislator from the main Opposition party. The PAC audits the government The Opposition party said Roy should not be considered a BJP member. On Friday, state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee announced new heads of those committees.
Meanwhile, Mukul Roy on Friday attended a meeting of the PAC, but no BJP MLA was present. After the hearing in the speaker’s chamber, he responded to Suvendu’s comments, saying, “Why only a court? He can go wherever he wishes to go.”
After the hearing, TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the speaker had just taken cognisance of the complaint against Roy. “There is no question of any acknowledgement of the BJP’s stand by the speaker. The hearing has only begun,” he added.
The TMC deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha also hailed the Lok Sabha secretariat’s decision to send notices to MPs Sisir Adhikari and Sunil Mondal who crossed over to the BJP from the TMC before the state elections.
Meanwhile, sources in the Election Commission said elections to one Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal would be held on August 9. The poll will be held to fill the seat left vacant by Dinesh Trivedi when he resigned and joined the BJP before the Bengal elections.
— WITH PTI INPUTS
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