A day after West Bengal Assembly witnessed unprecedented clash between the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress members, legislators of the Opposition wore helmets to the House and held mock proceedings of the Assembly here on Wednesday in protest against the developments that occurred on Tuesday.
The Speaker of the Assembly Biman Bandyopadhyay ordered an inquiry into the role of the security personnel present in the House when the violence broke out.
“A number of security personnel did not discharge their responsibility on Tuesday,” said Partha Chatterjee, State’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister, adding that they (security personnel) did nothing to check the violence inside the House.
The move sparked criticism from the Left Front in the Opposition, who described it as a “witch-hunting” exercise.
“When the Ministers of the Trinamool Congress government have taken on the role of the Marshal and the security staff of the Assembly, what will they do?” Leader of the Opposition in State Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra said.
The Congress members who wore helmets in the House described it as symbolic protest and said it was not to lower the esteem of the Assembly.
Speaker, however, directed the Congress legislators to remove the helmets in the House.
“First we have to protect our heads and then only we can participate in debate,” Md Sohrab, leader of Congress legislature party said.
Later during the day, Congress legislators walked out of the House in protest over an adjournment motion—demanding power subsidy for farmers and small industries, not being allowed.
An all-party meeting failed to resolve the impasse over the suspension of three Left Front members during the day prompting its legislators to stay away from the proceedings of the Assembly.
“Because of the unrelenting attitude of the Leader of the Opposition (Dr Mishra) the suspension of the members could not be revoked,” said the Speaker, who had asked the suspended members as well as Dr Mishra to apologise before the House on the developments of Tuesday.
Stating that the Left Front was not being rigid on the issue, Dr Mishra said despite their legislators not being allowed to defend themselves against the principles of natural justice, the legislators participated in the proceedings. When asked whether the Left Front legislators are sorry about Tuesday’s developments, he replied, “Why shall we be sorry, because we were beaten up and not even heard before action was taken against us,” he said.
Pointing out that in the past 19 months not a single adjournment motion by the Opposition has been allowed and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues to ignore proceedings of the House by not attending it, Dr Mishra said, “What was an exception has become a rule in the House and the rule is to bypass the parliamentary procedures.”