Biman Bose’s poser on continuation of Somnath as Speaker

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The “premise” on which Somnath Chatterjee was elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha has turned “redundant” following the withdrawal of support by the Left parties to the United Progressive Alliance government, Biman Bose, Secretary of the State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said here on Tuesday.

The CPI(M) had agreed to Mr. Chatterjee becoming the Speaker following a request to the Left parties by the Congress at a time when it extended support to the UPA from outside to form the government. But what is the justifiability of his continuing in office in the changed circumstances, Mr. Bose, a member of the party’s Polit Bureau, wondered.

He was replying to questions by journalists on the future of Mr. Chatterjee as Speaker.

The CPI(M) Central Committee recently agreed to leave the issue of Mr. Chatterjee continuing in the Chair to the Polit Bureau to decide .

Bribe charge

Mr. Bose, who is also chairman of the Left Front Committee, demanded a thorough investigation into allegations of bribing of MPs over the trust vote in the Lok Sabha and said the allegations “tarnished the legacy of Parliament.”

He also described as “unrealistic and unjustified” the reported demands of an MP from a neighbouring State for appending three districts of West Bengal to Jharkhand and the shifting of the head offices of Coal India Ltd. and the Damodar Valley Corporation to that State.

He was referring to newspaper reports saying that the MP had staked his claim in return for his support to the government in the trust vote. “West Bengal has 19 districts and the number will not decrease,” Mr. Bose asserted.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Bose called on veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu and informed him of the outcome of the recent meeting of the CPI(M) Central Committee in New Delhi.

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