Trinamool protests speaker’s decision on sting

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New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday protested Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s decision to refer the issue of a sting operation allegedly involving party leaders to the Ethics Committee of the lower house.

“You have referred the matter to the Ethics Committee. We strongly protest this as you have taken a unilateral decision. Not even a formal motion was moved. This is injustice,” senior Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy said in the Lok Sabha.

Roy maintained that the speaker’s “unilateral” decision will set a “precedent”.

“Anybody can do a sting and raise it in the house,” the former union minister said.

Roy, a parliamentarian from Dum Dum in West Bengal, said he had high respect for the chair but had to register his protest.

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In response, the speaker said, “Earlier also, such a decision (referring the matter to ethics panel) was taken.”

The TMC leader, however, said that he had full faith in the Ethics Committee headed by BJP veteran L.K. Advani and exuded confidence that the panel will be fair to his party.

“I have full respect for Advaniji and hope the committee will be fair,” Roy said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Speaker Mahajan referred the sting operation isssue to the Ethics Committee for investigation.

She made an announcement to this effect immediately after the question hour ended.

A sting operation by a news portal in West Bengal allegedly showed several TMC leaders accepting money in return for lobbying for a private firm.

The 15-member Ethics Committee headed by Advani includes Arjun Meghwal, Kariya Munda (both BJP), B. Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), Ninong Ering (Congress) and Akshay Yadav (Samajwadi Party).

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The issue has snowballed into a major political row with the matter figuring in both houses of parliament.

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