LS: Rare display of unity by Congress, Trinamool in protest over standing committees

A rare show of unity between two opposition parties — Congress and Trinamool Congress — was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the first day of Parliament’s Winter Session.

It all happened when the leader of Congress in the Lower House, Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, raised the issue of opposition party members not being given chairmanship of any of the Parliamentary standing committees.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Choudhury told Speaker Om Birla that while on one hand the government talks about ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’, but on the other hand it takes away all the committees’ chairmanship from the opposition parties despite Parliamentary norms and conventions in place for opposition parties.

As Birla warned him not to challenge the Chair, Choudhury took Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s name, saying that even his party was not given chairmanship of any Parliamentary panel.

Soon after this, Bandyopadhyay also stood up and said that despite being the second largest opposition party, he was informed by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister that Trinamool is not being given chairmanship of any Parliamentary panel.

Bandyopadhyay said that he had told the minister that it was his decision if he cannot allot a committee to the second largest party in the House.

“We are not begging for it,” the Trinamool leader said.

Choudhury, considered to be a fierce critic of the Trinamool in his home state West Bengal and even at the national level, showed rare unity between the two opposition parties by taking Bandyopadhyay’s name in the Lower House, where they are often seen without any coordination among themselves, even while protesting against the ruling party.

All Parliamentary panels were reconvened in October this year after their tenures had expired on September 12.

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