‘Opp placed partisan considerations before democracy’
statesman news service
Kolkata 5 December:
Trinamul Congress leaders today turned a seminar on "Challenges before Parliamentary Democracy", organised to mark the platinum jubilee of the state Assembly, into an occasion to launch a scathing attack on the Opposition for boycotting the concluding session of the programme that had begun yesterday.
State industries minister Partha Chatterjee, urban development Firad Hakim and government chief whip Sovandeb Chattopadhaya lambasted the Opposition, while Sikkim Assembly Speaker K T Gyaltsen called upon legislators to live up to the highest ideals of parliamentary democracy and dispel the doubts that have crept into people’s minds about this system of governance.
Speaking at the seminar, Mr Chatterjee accused Leader of the Opposition Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra of placing partisan considerations before democracy by engineering the boycott as "the platinum jubilee of the Assembly is for all intents and purposes a celebration of parliamentary democratic system."
"Time was when my party’s legislators were not allowed to raise a clutch of issues in the House including occupying the farmland of Singur, the massacre of Nandigram and Netai and the hunger strike of Miss Mamata Banerjee… lest it embarrass the government," the minister said. "But the then Trinamul Congress Legislature Party did not abstain from the House unlike the present set of Opposition MLAs who boycotted Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar yesterday and is set to do the same to President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow," he said.
The parliamentary system in our country has been infiltrated by political parties who have never believed in this system of governance, Mr Hakim said.
The Opposition made it clear it is unaware of the rules of the House when they expressed resentment at Trinamul legislators occupying Congress and Left Front’s benches yesterday, Mr Chattopadhaya said. The Opposition does not know that House rules do not apply during celebrations, he said.
The Opposition leader, Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, meanwhile, dubbed chief minister Mamata Banerjee as "worse than worst", and said that he would not take in lessons in politics from a person like her who tried to capture Writers’ Buildings, had ransacked the state Assembly and snatched the file of a Union Budget speech from a finance minister.
"The chief minister’s contention that the state Assembly should be apolitical is untenable and is an indication of a most reactionary brand of politics," Dr Mishra said while addressing a Press conference at the party office at Alimuddin Street during the day. "Her government is apolitical, so is its policy on chit funds and her party’s alliance with Congress," he said. With her habit of magnifying matters, the chief minister perceived a conspiracy in the spreading of insecticide in Writers’, Dr Mishra said. Now she is scared at the sight of a few placards.