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West Bengal assembly accepts privilege motion against Suvendu Adhikari over alleged I-T raid threat

Opposition party leader and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari holding a placard, raises slogans to protest against the State government during the Budget Session of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, in Kolkata, on Friday, March 11, 2022. File

Opposition party leader and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari holding a placard, raises slogans to protest against the State government during the Budget Session of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, in Kolkata, on Friday, March 11, 2022. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The West Bengal assembly on Thursday accepted a privilege motion against Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari who allegedly threatened four rebel BJP MLAs with Income Tax raids for disrupting his speech in the House.

A privilege motion has been accepted by the House against Mr. Adhikari and it is being forwarded to the Privilege Committee, Speaker Biman Banerjee announced as proceedings began at 11 a.m.

The Treasury Benches thumped desks, welcoming the announcement, while BJP MLAs protested.

Following this, discussion on the State Budget began, in which both ruling and Opposition MLAs participated.

The four rebel BJP MLAs — Krishna Kalyani (Raiganj), Tanmoy Ghosh (Bishnupur), Soumen Roy (Kaliaganj) and Biswajit Das (Bagda) — had joined the TMC last year without giving up membership of the House. They have not yet been disqualified under the anti-defection law and continue to occupy the Opposition benches.

When Mr. Adhikari was speaking in the House on the Home Department's budget on Wednesday, they repeatedly interrupted him "for lying and spreading canards against the State government".

They later complained to the Speaker that when a visibly infuriated Mr. Adhikari walked out of the House, he allegedly threatened them with I-T raids for interrupting his speech.

The Speaker took note of the complaint and said the four MLAs will be provided with protection in accordance with the rules of the House.

Mr. Adhikari dubbed the allegations baseless, and told reporters, "The way the ruling party tried to create disturbance during my speech by using turncoat MLAs is unprecedented. Let them first prove it (the allegations), let them bring privilege motion."

One of the rebel MLAs, Soumen Roy, also alleged outside the House that Mr. Adhikari had threatened to shoot him.

"He has also threatened to shoot me. But I did not mention it in the Assembly," he claimed.

According to sources in the State government, the four MLAs have been accorded with additional security by the police.

The Speaker has also been requested to ensure the MLAs are given separate seats in the House.


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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 10:55:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-assembly-accepts-privilege-motion-against-suvendu-adhikari-over-alleged-i-t-raid-threat/article65233525.ece