TMC demands main opposition party status in Tripura assembly

Agartala, Sep 9 (IANS) A tug of war is going on between the Tripura Assembly Speaker and Trinamool Congress (TMC) over recognition of the party as main opposition party in the House.

TMC’s Tripura unit chairman Ratan Chakraborty in a letter to Assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath requested him to grant status of Leader of Opposition (LoP) to the party’s newly-elected legislature party leader Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl as the party has the required strength in the assembly.

Six legislators after three-month long parleys were recognised as TMC MLAs by the assembly speaker on August 29. The Speaker, citing rules and Supreme Court verdict, refused to give opposition party status to the TMC in the state assembly.

Quoting the provision of the Tripura assembly rules of procedure and conduct of business, TMC leader Sudip Roy Barman said that the 1972 and 2008 rules categorically stated that an MLA could only have the eligibility to become LoP if his party has the largest numerical strength in the assembly.

“I would take a decision on the TMC’s fresh demand next week and it would be communicated to them accordingly,” Speaker Debnath said.

“If the speaker does not grant status of LoP to TMC, the party would take suitable steps in appropriate time,” said Hrangkhawl, a veteran tribal leader and former Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee chief.

A TMC leader on condition of anonymity hinted that the party is likely to seek Governor or court’s intervention if the Speaker does not grant LoP status or does not recognise it as the main opposition party in the house.

The six MLAs, led by former opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman, quit the Congress on April 7 and joined the TMC on June 7 in protest against the Congress’ alliance with Left parties ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections.

–IANS

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