Left, Congress jointly walk out of Bengal assembly

Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) A day after CPI-M censured one of its legislators for participating in a Congress rally over price rise, the party-led Left Front on Monday staged a joint walkout with Congress from the West Bengal assembly after being denied a discussion on price rise.

Addressing a joint media conference, leaders from both the Congress and the Left slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government for not willing to discuss a issue concerning the common people.

“The state government is not ready to have a debate on the issue because the ruling party has been enjoying the benefits of the skyrocketing prices.

“The ruling party think that they can dictate to the assembly speaker but they should not think they can do the same with us. We are not here to oblige them,” said Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan, of the Congress.

Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said that they had been compelled to walk out of the assembly.

“Speaker is of the house and house belongs to the Opposition. This is a rule of parliamentary democracy. How do we reflect what the common people have to say if they are not ready to discuss important issues,” asked Chakraborty.

Former state Congress president Manas Bhunia echoed a similar view.

The development comes a day after CPI-M legislator Tanmoy Bhattacharya was publicly censured by the party for for defying the official stand and participating in a Congress rally in the city against price rise on Saturday.

While Chakraborty parried media queries regarding the Left’s decision to not participate in the Congress’ Saturday rally, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra defended the party action against Bhattacharya.

“We have not stated that we will not undertake any joint programme with the Congress. We will undertake such joint programmes. Since the Left Front legislative party had decided against joining the Saturday’s rally, Bhattacharya’s move to do that was not justified,” Mishra later told media persons.

“That is why we had publicly censured Bhattacharya and he had accepted his mistake,” he added.

The Left Front had decided against joining the rally following the Central Committee – the CPI-M’s highest decision-making body – saying the “electoral tactics adopted in Bengal was not in consonance with the Central Committee decision not to have an alliance or understanding with the Congress”.



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