Bansal: It was not their intention, they just made a mistake

It is not just the Congress that does not know what to expect next from West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee: on Monday, even her party MPs reportedly “misunderstood” her wishes and voted against the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2012 in the Lok Sabha.

Though the United Progressive Alliance government was able to get the key Bill passed — 100 to 57 — without the support of the Trinamool, an upset Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal rang up Ms. Banerjee for an explanation. “I have talked to Mamata Banerjee,” Mr. Bansal told journalists, adding, “She said she did not ask them to vote against the Bill. She was also not told that they were voting against the Bill. She has said she will look into the matter.”

Trying to make light of it, Mr. Bansal stressed, the Trinamool MPs had not intended to vote against the Bill — they just made a “mistake” and “it was not the intention of any one of them.”

Minister of State for Health and Trinamool leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay was not present in the House when the Bill was discussed.

Mr. Bansal also said that Ms. Banerjee had indicated that the Trinamool would vote for the Bill in the Rajya Sabha: however, if there is another “mix-up,” it might be very embarrassing, as the Congress-led UPA does not have a majority in the Upper House.

However, it was evident that the Trinamool MPs who were present in the Lok Sabha were quite convinced about voting against the Bill, with party Chief Whip Kalyan Banerjee later telling journalists that his party was opposed to the parity that the Bill proposed between Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors with MBBS degrees.

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