The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Skin thicker than teak table

Nov. 30: CPM legislator K.D. Ghosh was watching Trinamul MLAs run around, overturning tables and breaking furniture, when a block of wood landed on his head.

He fell as blood oozed from the gash. Party colleagues rushed him out.

Trinamul’s Saugata Roy was also playing spectator when a voice box came hurtling. It hit him on his arm and stunned him for a few seconds. But recovering fast, he picked up the box and hurled it towards the treasury benches. No one knows who hurled the box at Roy or whom his return blow was aimed at, but there were howls from the CPM camp.

Trinamul’s Dulal Bar was busy breaking furniture and jumping from table to table when he decided to overturn some ministers’ chairs.

The CPM’s Swadesh Nayak would have none of it. He ran up to Bar and started raining blows on him. But as Bar retaliated, Nayak gripped him around the neck.

When he started choking, other CPM members separated the two.

These were only a few of the scenes, too shocking to be slapstick, from the Assembly this afternoon when Trinamul MLAs went on the rampage after having “heard” that Mamata Banerjee had been stopped and “assaulted” by police on her way to Singur.

Trinamul MLAs rushed into the well of the House, yanked off microphones, broke furniture and hurled abuses at Left Front legislators.

It all began when the House resumed business at 1.30 pm to take up the no-confidence motion moved jointly by Trinamul and the Congress.

Trinamul’s leader of the House Partha Chatterjee rose to demand that the “barbaric attack” on Mamata be condemned, prompting Congress’s Sudip Bandopadhyay to announce that his party would not participate in the debate as a mark of protest. The party walked out after that.

Enthused by the support, Trinamul MLAs started breaking chairs and tables, while some of them were seen throwing eggs and chicken legs at treasury benches.

Sonali Guha kept hollering abusive slogans against the chief minister and threatened CPM legislators with dire consequences if “force” was applied to evict Singur farmers.

Party colleagues Arjun Singh and Aroop Biswas smashed tables and chairs, at least half a century old and made of teak and mahogany.

Amid the raging battle, the Speaker left the House.

The CPM legislators, spectators initially, walked into the ring after Trinamul’s Bar started banging the ministers’ tables. Rabin Mondal, Nayek and co. pounced on him and fisticuffs with the Trinamul MLAs ensued.

Flying microphones hit the front’s Jiban Saha, Kartick Bag and Biplab Majumdar. In retaliation, front MLAs threw hurled boxes.

In the brawl, which continued for about 25 minutes, Trinamul’s Subrata Bakshi slapped Mondal. The RSP’s Tapan Hore ran to kick him.

Six Left and four Trinamul MLAs were injured.

Surveying the damage later in the day, Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim said: “This is the most unfortunate incident in the history of the Assembly.”

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