TMC sacks Sikha Mitra for breaching ‘discipline’

Wednesday

The core committee of the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday suspended party MLA Sikha Mitra for breaching "party discipline". The suspension came within hours of Mitra condemning Tuesday's incident at the Assembly in which Left Front and Trinamool MLAs exchanged blows and four of them had to be admitted to hospital.

Mitra has been under party's scanner following her criticism of the state government at a function held at the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee office on July 1. She had also lodged a criminal defamation case against state Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee alleging that he had used "defamatory words" against her.

Putting the Trinamool in an embarrassing situation, Mitra, while speaking to reporters outside the Assembly on Wednesday morning, said: "Despite being an MLA, I am scared to come to the Assembly. No one knows what will happen there. If an MLA gets assaulted, what will happen to the common people?"

A senior Trinamool leader said Mitra has been suspended for flouting party discipline. Mitra could not be contacted after her suspension was ordered.

Mitra, who had caused embarrassment to the party a few months back by raising voice against "politics of sycophancy" in the party, told the media outside Writers Buildings: "It does not matter which party has done it. There is no question that it is a strongly condemnable incident and doing this is an offence. I do not know which party has done this."

Mitra is the first Trinamool MLA who spoke against the incident. No senior Trinamool leaders, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has yet condemned the incident. Though Mitra stopped short of taking names, it was clear that her comment was aimed at her own party MLAs and ministers who were part of the ugly scene in the Assembly.

Mitra on Wednesday came to the Assembly to attend the meet of the Trinamool legislature party but had to return because no one from her party spoke to her. An insulted Mitra said: "I had heard that there will be a meeting of the party's legislators at the Assembly. After waiting for some time, I am going back because no one spoke to me here. I have some other assignments."

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