Speaker Biman Banerjee today instructed the Priviledge Committee to withdrew the notice of “breach of priviledge and contempt of House” against three Bengali newspapers for “misinterpreting chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeal” to Congress and CPI-M for unitedly fighting against the BJP.
The move came after Miss Banerjee, who was present during the session, requested her party not to proceed with the issue. “The issue has already been taken up yesterday and discussions were held. Mr Banerjee has already given his statement. I think there is no need to proceed further,” she said.
However, Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan said that though the notice was being withdrawn it was somewhat a threat that was issued to the media houses. In response, Miss Banerjee said that her government respects journalists and never interferes in their independence. “There is a Privilege Committee in the Assembly and a system is in place. A similar system exists in Parliament. Yesterday, the Speaker gave his ruling on the issue. The Assembly proceedings are property of the House and one cannot misquote it,” she said.
Prior to this, state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said that notice was being issued to the editors and journalists of the three newspapers for misquoting Miss Banerjee and the newspaper clippings were also being attached.
Yesterday, the Left Front and Congress MLAs had staged a protest after Trinamul Congress had said that the Opposition had misinterpreted Miss Banerjee’s appeal. MoS parliamentary affairs Tapas Roy claimed that Miss Banerjee had never called for any alliance with the Left Front and the Congress in Bengal. “She had said that in view of the prevailing situation in the country, all of us should work jointly. She had also mentioned that she had forged an alliance with 23 parties in the national level and that she was talking of that alliance. The Left and the Congress have misinterpreted her statements,” Mr Roy had told the Assembly. Speaker Banerjee had also said the Opposition should not have misinterpreted the chief minister’s statement made on the floor of the House.