Agartala, Aug 29 (IANS) Three months after six Congress MLAs in Tripura joined the Trinamool Congress, they were on Monday recognised as TMC legislators by the assembly Speaker.
Trinamool leader Sudip Roy Barman, after the verdict of Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath, said the six MLAs are the second largest legislature group of the party in India after West Bengal which the party rules.
The six MLAs, led by Barman, resigned from the Congress on April 7 and joined the Trinamool on June 7 in protest against the Congress pact with the Left parties in the West Bengal assembly elections.
“Henceforth, all the six ex-Congress MLAs would be treated as All India Trinamool Congress MLAs,” Speaker Nath told reporters after a long waited legal and administrative process.
He said: “The TMC as per rule of the assembly and Supreme Court verdict would not be reconginsd as opposition party in the house. Hence, there would be no opposition leader in the state. There can be group leader of TMC and Congress separately in the house.
“The opposition parties from now onwards would not be able to raise no-confidence motion against the Left Front government and they also cannot move any adjournment motion as the TMC and Congress do not have the required one sixth strength in the 60-member house.”
The Speaker’s decision annoyed the Congress.
“The Speaker did not follow the rules in recognising the Trinamool MLAs. He acted on a partisan way. Whether we would go to court challenging the decision depends on the decision of the party high command,” Tripura Congress President Birajit Sinha told reporters.
Trinamool leader Sudip Roy Barman said the Speaker had acted as per the rules and verdict of the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Congress state president wrote a letter to the Speaker to de-recognise the six MLAs.
The speaker said he had met the six MLAs individually and verified their signatures and necessary documents.
Besides Sudip Roy Barman, other former Congress legislators who joined the Trinamool are Ashish Saha, Biswabandhu Sen, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Pranjit Singha Roy and Dilip Sarkar.
Another Congress legislator, Jitendra Sarkar, resigned from the Tripura assembly in April and rejoined the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
A former CPI-M legislator, Sarkar served as Speaker of the Tripura assembly twice in the past — he had joined the Congress in March 2010.
Meanwhile, Congress legislator and former opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath denied media reports that he was also joining the Trinamool.
With these political developments, the Congress strength in the Tripura assembly has gone down from 10 to three – the lowest ever – in the house.
The ruling CPI-M-led Left Front has 50 lawmakers. The CPI-M alone has 49.