With Rahul nod, Cong to boycott House function

KolkataA lit up West Bengal Assembly on the eve of closing ceremony of its platinum jubilee celebrations, in Kolkata on Tuesday. Partha Paul

Amidst a boycott by the Congress, the three-day closing ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebration of West Bengal Assembly will commence here Wednesday even as the Assembly Speaker urged the Opposition to review their decision. The Left Front is also likely to boycott the three-day special session.

The ceremony, to be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, marks the conclusion of the platinum jubilee celebration, which began in August, last year.

While the Lok Sabha Speaker would attend the inaugural programme Wednesday, the President would address the valedictory session on December 6.

The Congress decided to boycott the session after getting the go-ahead from party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. State Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya and Congress Legislature Party leader in Benagl assembly Md Sohrab, met Rahul Gandhi today.

The Congress said it will boycott the celebrations as Speaker Biman Banerjee did not reply to their letter requesting for more time to speak in the Assembly. The Congress had boycotted the House proceedings of the winter session.

"Rahul Gandhi gave the nod to our decision. We are sorry that we won't be attending the President's address. We have already informed Meira Kumar, whom we met, that we won't be able to attend her seminar," Sohrab told The Indian Express from Delhi.

With Left Front too giving hints that it will keep off the celebrations, the closing ceremony is likely to be devoid of any Opposition party.

The LF too is peeved at the Speaker who, they allege, did not allowi them to raise several issues in the Assembly. Also, they claim that the ruling party has unleashed a reign of terror against Left cadres.

In a meeting of the Left Front at CPM state headquarters at Alimuddin Street, the constituents took divergent views on participating in the programme. While CPI, RSP and DSP want to attend the closing ceremony, CPIM and Forward Bloc are opposed to it.

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