West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced an additional DA instalment of 6 per cent for State government employees amidst protest by opposition CPI(M) that she did not follow Assembly rules while making the statement even as Congress staged a walkout.
Ms. Banerjee, who appeared in the House to give a statement on the price rise situation during the question hour, said that despite all the financial constraints the State was facing, the employees would get a 6 per cent increase in DA from January 2014.
War of words broke out between the Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition and CPI(M) member Surya Kanta Mishra who contended that Ms. Banerjee was not following the Assembly rules in making the statement as it also required a debate amongst all parties.
Mr. Mishra also said that the Chief Minister came to the House for a statement on the price rise, but announced DA rise for the State government employees. Ms. Banerjee contested it and said that the issues were related.
The Chief Minister said she should not be guided by the Leader of the Opposition on what is to be done and asked the Speaker to allow Mr. Mishra to speak for some time.
Speaker Biman Banerjee interrupted and said under the Assembly rules, the Chief Minister can make a statement in the House on any important matter and no question should be asked while the statement was being made.
At this point TMC member Subrata Mukherjee intervened to say that Mr. Mishra’s intention was clear and aimed at interrupting the Chief Minister, which is condemnable.
It was very much within the rules and conventions of the Assembly, he asserted.
While Ms. Banerjee was blaming the Centre for its wrong policies which was causing rise of prices of essential commodities, Congress members stood up shouting and asked the Speaker to allow them to speak, which was not entertained.
They subsequently staged a walkout.