BJP MLAs suspended from WB Assembly session over Sandeshkhali unrest

The suspension, under Rule 348 of the State Assembly, was meted out by the Speaker following a Privilege Motion brought by Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of West Bengal

West bengal assembly, budget, amit mitra

West Bengal state Assembly

Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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Six Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators, including Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari, faced suspension from the ongoing West Bengal Legislative Assembly session following their outcry over the Sandeshkhali issue and interrupting the airing of the "state song".

The suspension, under Rule 348 of the State Assembly, was meted out by the Speaker following a Privilege Motion brought by Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of West Bengal. The motion, alleging unruly behaviour and disorderly conduct inside the Assembly, was passed, leading to the suspension of the six BJP leaders for the remainder of the session.

Apart from LoP Adhikari, the suspended legislators include Agnimitra Paul, Mihir Goswami, Shikha Chattopadhyay, Tapasi Mondal, and Bankim Ghosh. The motion was initiated after the Trinamool Congress accused the BJP members of disrupting proceedings when the "state song" was being played in the House.

The "state song" was being aired before West Bengal's Minister of State for Finance, Chandrima Bhattacharya, presented the Budget proposals for the upcoming financial year 2024-25. The BJP legislators started shouting slogans against the ruling TMC government to speak on the Sandeshkhli unrest. They sat on the floor on the House, following which Speaker Biman Banerjee allowed TMC  MLA Sobhandeb Chatterjee to move a motion for suspension of the BJP leaders.

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Nirmal Ghosh, a Trinamool Congress representative, asserted that the BJP MLAs persisted in creating disturbances, even during the rendition of the state anthem, showcasing their intent to obstruct parliamentary proceedings.

Ghosh said, "So they started creating ruckus within the House from the beginning and they did not even stop when the tune of the state song was being played in the House. So as a mark of protest, we moved the Privilege Motion on Friday."

What is the Sandeshkhali issue?


The Sandeshkhali issue, which sparked the legislators' outcry, revolves around recent turmoil in the Sandeshkhali region of West Bengal. Agitated villagers, particularly women, staged protests and set fire to a poultry farm owned by TMC leader Shivprasad Hazra. The unrest stemmed from allegations against TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh regarding an alleged land ration allotment scam.

Reacting to their suspension, LoP Adhikari reiterated the BJP's commitment to championing women's rights, declaring. Speaking to ANI, he said, "They can throw us into jail if they want, but the BJP will continue to raise its voice for the respect of women."

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Adhikari also indicated that BJP MLAs were prepared to visit the Sandeshkhali region to stand in solidarity with the aggrieved women, even if it meant facing arrest.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: Feb 12 2024 | 1:08 PM IST

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