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TMC, Congress MLAs come to blows in Bengal Assembly

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Pandemonium prevailed for quite sometime during the discussion on governor’s speech in the first half of the state on Tuesday Assembly . A few members of the Congress and Trinamul Congress almost came to blows over a heated altercation after Tapas Roy of Trinamnul Congress reiterated chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge on Wednesday that had the fire brigade personnel, district magistrate and superintendent of police not been prevented from reaching the accident spot at Daulatabad, more lives could have been saved.

Contesting the contention, Congress chief whip Manoj Chakraborty said that rescue operation had been started by his party legislators, long before the arrival of the government’s disaster management team. A remark from the Treasury benches saw Mr Chakraborty rush towards it, but he was restrained by other legisaltors.

Even as some Trinamul MLAs lunged at Mr Chakraborty, they were kept in their seats by government chief whip Nirmal Ghosh. A slanging match broke out between the Treasury and Oppostion benches drowning Speaker Biman Banerjee’s request to the agitated members to return to their seats.

Seeking to bring things to normalcy, leader of the Oppostion Abdul Mannan said: “We seek to maintain the decorum of the House, but any allegation that Congress MLAs slowed down rescue operations is not only provocative but also disprespectful towards the deceased persons.” “I am under no obligation to please the Opposition, but I stand by what I said,” Mr Roy said.

“The bus was not an old vehicle as claimed by the Opposition but was registered in 2016 and given to Behrampore Municipality the year after,” said Mouhua Moitra, the Trinamul legislator from Karimpur, the place from which the bus started.

“The rescue operation did not lack sincerity,” she added. “The bus which fell off the bridge at Daulatabad lacked fitness certificate,” Congress MLA from Raghunathgunj Akrurzaman said.

“It is an old vehicle of North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) and run by a municipality, perhaps the only such a body in the country to run a transport service,” he contended in a sarcastic vein.

The tone and tenor of the discussion on the governor’s address was set earlier during the day by veteran Congress MLA Asit Mitra who accused the Trinamul-run state government of being unable to maintain law and order and hold elections by letting loose party acitivists aided by men in uniform and officials with a bias towards the ruling party.

Cases of atrocities on women are rising daily despite tall claims of the state government of investments being made in West Bengal, he said amidst protests from Treasury benches, adding, there is very little of it to show by the way of job generaton and capital investment.