The all-party meeting at the Speaker’s chamber on Friday
Calcutta, March 1: Mamata Banerjee indicated for the first time that she was unhappy with Trinamul legislators for attacking Left MLAs inside the House on December 11 when she today told her party MLAs to exercise restraint in the approaching budget session.
A scuffle over chit funds had spun out of control in the Assembly and elected representatives had pounced on each other. Some MLAs had suffered injuries and had to be hospitalised.
Mamata’s sermon today came at an all-party meeting in the Assembly where Speaker Biman Banerjee first raised the issue of an “unfortunate” incident that had taken place recently.
“The chief minister started off with an appeal to MLAs from all parties to exercise restraint. But she mentioned that what she was saying was meant especially for the ruling party MLAs. She said that being in power, our responsibility was much more,” a Trinamul MLA said.
According to sources, the chief minister today stressed on the need for quality discussions and debates in the House. “She said there should be debates and discussions and asked us to come prepared. She said the ruling party MLAs should not behave in a manner that goes against the norms of parliamentary democracy,” a minister said.
The meeting was called to reach a consensus on advancing the date for the presentation of the budget to March 11, the first working day after the governor’s address on March 8. Normally, a discussion on the address takes place after the governor reads out his speech and then the budget is placed.
The sources said Trinamul wanted the advancement with an eye on the rural polls.
The sources said Mamata tried to keep the Opposition in “good humour” so that they would not protest the proposal to table the budget without the discussions on the governor’s address, which is unprecedented in Bengal.
Opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra of the CPM and Congress legislature party leader Mohammad Sohrab did not object to the proposal.
Sources said Mishra brought to the chief minister’s notice the fact that adjournment motions placed by the Opposition were not being allowed to be discussed.
“Mamata said the Opposition should be allowed to move adjournment motions in accordance with rules and time constraints,” a source said.
Speaker Biman Banerjee said: “The government wanted that the discussions on the budget be held before the one on the governor’s address. The budget chapter will be closed by March 15. The discussion on the governor’s address will start from March 18.”
Industries and parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said: “The notification for the panchayat polls will be issued after March 15.”