For speaking to journalists on Assembly ruckus

Hours after Trinamool Congress MLA Shikha Mitra spoke to journalists at the premises of the State Assembly on the recent ruckus in the West Bengal Assembly despite instructions from the party not to do so, Ms. Mitra was suspended from the party here on Wednesday, sources in the Trinamool Congress told The Hindu .

Even as several Trinamool Congress leaders have publicly expressed dissent in recent times, Ms. Mitra’s suspension is the first instance when action has been taken against a legislator for not toeing the party line.

Ms. Mitra said she would comment on the matter only when her suspension is communicated to her in writing.

The decision on her suspension was taken after Ms. Mitra criticised the bedlam in the House on Tuesday condemning the incident “regardless of which party was involved” and that the violence would affect the public’s perception of legislators. Ms. Mitra also expressed “fear” about her personal security inside the House, pointing out that there could be a reprisal of the clashes witnessed on Tuesday.

“Those who sent MLAs to this Assembly as their representatives will think otherwise now,” she said.

Ms. Mitra has earlier courted controversy when she had publicly criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the party’s “politics of cult worship.” She had also criticised Ms. Banerjee for her refrain of finding it difficult to run the government under severe financial constraints, pointing out that the people “do not want to know how you will do it; they want to see that the job is done.”

Last month, she had filed a defamation suit against Trinamool Congress Secretary General and State’s industries Minister Partha Chatterjee for making ‘objectionable’ comments against her.

Ms. Mitra, along with her husband Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra, have stood out as dissenters. Mr. Mitra, who was a former president of the State Congress unit and later joined the Trinamool Congress, has been visibly sidelined in the recent times.

While dissent has been growing in the Trinamool Congress ranks of late, the gag order against making comments before the media is more recent, with a minister saying at a meeting at a chamber of commerce recently that these were dangerous times and he would not open his mouth.

  • There could be a reprisal of the clashes witnessed on Tuesday: Ms. Mitra

  • She had earlier criticised Ms. Banerjee’s party’s “politics of cult worship”