LEFT FRONT and Congress leaders on Tuesday protested at the state Assembly against the police attack on Left workers during their Monday’s ‘March to Nabanna’ programme. Later, the MLAs met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, urging him to “protect the democratic and constitutional rights of the people”. The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, passed a resolution, condemning the activities of the Opposition MLAs inside the Assembly. It also ruled out any probe into the lathicharge by Kolkata Police officers on protesters. On Monday, more than a hundred Left workers, 69 policemen and several mediapersons had sustained injuries when policemen and Left workers had clashed in Kolkata and Howrah.
On Tuesday, Left and Congress MLAs protested at the Assembly after their proposal to adjourn the House was disallowed by the Speaker. Holding black flags, the MLAs went to the well of the House, raising slogans against the Mamata government and the police. Later, they staged a protest on the Assembly premises.
Leader of Opposition and Congress veteran Abdul Mannan alleged the state government was destroying democracy in West Bengal by stifling the voice of the Opposition. “We condemn the way Left workers were beaten up by the police yesterday. The police also lathicharged reporters who were covering the incident. This is undemocratic and undesired. I was also injured when I went to meet Left leaders yesterday,” Mannan said at the Assembly.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee moved a resolution in the Assembly, condemning the Opposition for trying to disrupt the proceedings of the House, PTI reported. “A few people are trying to disrupt the proceedings of this Assembly. They are trying to undermine democracy. Their body language in the Assembly is unacceptable. Whatever they are doing for the last two days is totally unacceptable. If they had faith in democracy, they wouldn’t have done such things,” Chatterjee said while reading out the resolution.
Later, Congress and Left MLAs took out a procession from the Assembly to Raj Bhavan. A 12-member delegation led by Mannan met the Governor.
“We apprised the Governor of the way the recent municipal elections were turned into farce by the ruling party. We also informed him how some Opposition MLAs were detained by police when they had gone to Nabanna. Lastly, we told him how mercilessly Left workers and journalists were beaten up by police yesterday. We have urged him to take necessary steps to protect the democratic rights of the Opposition and common people,” Mannan said outside Raj Bhavan.
“The state government has imported a bouncer culture to throttle the voice of democracy. The same is being done in the Assembly. The number of non-MLAs is higher at the Assembly than the MLAs. Who are these people? Who has sent them? They are here to prevent the Opposition from raising its voice,” CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty alleged.
The Congress and Left, meanwhile, have decided to bring a no-confidence motion against the government at the Assembly. “We have decided to bring in no-confidence motion against the corrupt state government. Under Trinamool rule, infant trafficking, chit funds and poaching on MLAs have become a regular affair in Bengal politics,” Mannan said.
At present, while the Left Front has 31 MLAs in the Assembly, Congress has 39, after five of its legislators had switched over to the Trinamool.
The Left Front, meanwhile, staged a separate rally to protest against the police assault, PTI reported. The rally, led by CPM state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra and Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, started from Lenin Sarani in Esplanade and ended at the Entally market.