Mamata attends Assembly on last day, keeps studious silence on violence

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended the assembly on the last day on Thursday of the short winter session, but made no mention of the violence and trading of blows in the House on December 11.

The chief minister praised the manner in which Speaker Biman Banerjee conducted the short session and said that important bills were passed, including one on setting up of eastern region's first women's university.

The Speaker informed the House in the absence of opposition Left Front and Congress members, that some undesirable incidents took place which should not have happened.

Stating that he suspended three CPI(M) members for their conduct on December 11, he said that had he not suspended them, a wrong message would have gone that anyone could do whatever they liked in the House.

Claiming that opposition members were being stubborn, he said that he could not understand why the opposition sought to evade the House. Hoping that that next session of the House would be smooth, the Speaker said that there should be constructive criticism during question hour, which would be a testing time for ministers.

The House was later adjourned sine die.

Government Chief Whip Sobhandev Chattopadhyay said that opposition criticism was welcome, but their behaviour in the House on December 11 was condemnable.

He said that the opposition should have taken up issues on the floor of the House, but did not do so to reap political advantage.

Speaking in the same refrain, Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee called for restraint by the opposition and and reminded them that people monitored what their representatives did in the House.

Deputy Speaker Sonali Guha said that the bid to attack the Speaker was painful and the incident had tarnished the prestige of the Assembly.

Earlier in the day, Congress members walked out dissatisfied at the Speaker not allowing a discussion under rule 194 to discuss law and order in the state, while allowing a short duration discussion under the same rule on a ban imposed by the union environment ministry in Haldia.

The Speaker asked CLP leader Md Sohrab why the Congress did not raise any objection on the issue when it was discussed in the business advisory committee meeting.

Meanwhile, CPI(M)-led Left Front members held a mock assembly in the complex, in which senior party member Abdur Rezzak Mollah acted as the speaker and Mamata Gayen as his deputy.

Left Front members had yesterday walked out of the House demanding revocation of the suspension on three CPI(M) MLAs for the violence of Tuesday saying that they would not apologise or attend the House till the suspension was withdrawn.

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