No action yet on Trinamool plea against Sisir Adhikari

TMC MP Sisir Kumar Adhikari. File

TMC MP Sisir Kumar Adhikari. File | Photo Credit: PTI

With no action taken against rebel MP Sisir Adhikari more than seven months after the Trinamool Congress’s petition seeking his disqualification was referred to the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee, the party has written again to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Trinamool’s Parliamentary leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said the disqualification process has been slowed down because the BJP is afraid of bypolls. “Disqualification will necessitate bypolls and the BJP is afraid of holding one knowing very well that they will have to face humiliating defeat,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Mr. Adhikari, a Lok Sabha member from Kanthi in West Bengal, had quit Trinamool to join the BJP in March last year in the run-up to Assembly elections in the State. His son Suvendu had defeated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram Assembly seat in the election in May. Ms. Banerjee was later elected to the State Assembly from Bhabanipur in a by-election.

Soon after the elections, Trinamool’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay had written to Mr. Birla seeking to disqualify Mr. Adhikari under the anti-defection law. In January this year, the case was referred by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to the Privileges Committee.

The Trinamool last week shot off another letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker alleging that Mr. Adhikhari is trying to stall the proceedings by quoting untenable rules and is trying to “drag the proceedings”. Since the application was admitted in the Privileges Committee the panel has met eight times. Mr. Adhikari’s disqualification case was on agenda only once in a meeting (held on April 26) which too had to be cancelled because of lack of quorum.

Mr. O’Brien blamed the BJP for engineering wholesale defections across the country, citing the recent events in Maharashtra. “Between 2006 to 2020, 405 lawmakers - both MPs and MLAs - have defected and our research shows that 45% of them have joined the BJP. More importantly, the average assets of the re-contesting MPs and MLAs have grown by 39%,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 12:11:34 am |