TMC may be seated with Left in LS

Informing the Lok Sabha Secretariat that it was no longer with the UPA, the Trinamool Congress here on Tuesday set the stage for being shifted to Opposition benches in the House.

The 19-member strong group was seated with the Congress and other UPA members till now. "The new arrangement will be put in place tomorrow (a day ahead of the beginning of the winter session of Parliament)," sources disclosed.

TMC leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay had made a request for the change earlier. It is another matter that the relocation would give rise to another problem for the party. For, howsoever they may wish otherwise, TMC members may find themselves in the company of the Left. The seats next to the UPA-bloc are occupied by the members belonging to the parties who support the Manmohan Singh government from outside SP, BSP, RJD, JD(S), MIM. The space between the NDA and UPA members is occupied by the people belonging to the Left parties, AIADMK, TDP, TRS and independents. It would be worth watching whether the Left parties and TMC are receptive to the idea of being parked along side.

SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP floor leader Dara Singh Chauhan were initially seated on a single bench in the front row. However, Chauhan found it very inconvenient because most issues of UP, their common catchment area, found their way into the Lok Sabha and both he and Mulayam felt called upon to join the consequent verbal duels. The problem came to an end when Chauhan shifted to a place next to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda occupied the seat vacated by him.

Speaker Meira Kumar is yet to go into the issue of allocating a front seat to Bandyopadhyay. "We will strictly go by the Rules," the sources said.

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