Cong-Trinamool clash over privilege motion

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.

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