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Chaos in West Bengal Assembly over absence of ministers, oppn

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Congress and CPI(M) MLAs staged a walkout in the West Bengal Assembly on Tuesday after TMC's Tapas Roy dissed opposition legislators who were protesting over the absence of ministers in the House.

As proceedings of the House began for the second half at 1.30 pm, around 40 CPI(M) and Congress MLAs raised a storm, asking why no minister was present.

Roy, who is the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, entered the House talking on his mobile phone amid the furore.

As the protesting MLAs asked him the reason behind his delay in coming to the House, a feisty Roy said, "What is the fuss all about?"

Following this, the Congress and CPI(M) MLAs demanded the minister's apology, even as he refused, with speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay saying, "What has happened is not appropriate."

Soon after this, the CPI(M) and Congress MLAs staged the walkout. However, BJP MLA Manoj Tigga, who was present in the House, did not join the other opposition parties in staging the walkout, nor did he take part in the debate.

CPI(M) legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty said the opposition felt insulted over the conduct of the minister.

Speaking to reporters outside the House, Congress leader Asit Mitra said the "aggressive way" in which Roy charged towards the opposition MLAs showed the autocratic nature of the Mamata Banerjee government.

Discussion on the Budget speech of the governor started in the second half with no opposition MLAs present. They returned to the House at 2.45 pm after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee requested them to participate in the debate.

Chatterjee said an unexpected situation happened which marred the sanctity of the House. He said that he spoke to both Roy and some opposition MLAs, and both sides hoped such incidents should not happen again.

Taking part in the debate, Congress's Mitra slammed the government's claims of law and order improvement in the state. Later, a comment made by him was expunged from the House records.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 18:58 IST