Calcutta, March 11: Humayun Kabir, who is continuing as a minister despite a poll defeat, today left the Assembly “a minute” before the budget was placed as some Trinamul leaders apprehended protests if he lingered around.
“I came to Calcutta this morning from my Rejinagar home (in Murshidabad) only to be present in the Assembly to hear the finance minister’s budget speech. But I avoided it after some Trinamul leaders told me that my presence could spark vehement protests from the Opposition Left and the Congress,” Kabir, the junior animal resource development minister, told The Telegraph after coming out of the House.
Kabir, whose continuance as minister even after losing the February 23 Rejinagar bypoll was criticised by the Opposition and a section in his own party, said Mamata Banerjee had not objected to his presence in the House during the tabling of the budget.
“I spent over two hours in the Assembly meeting Mamatadi and the Speaker. They did not object to my presence in the House during the budget speech,” said Kabir, who switched to Trinamul from the Congress in November.
“But when I was walking in the lobby (after the meeting in the chief minister’s Assembly chamber), some Trinamul MLAs and leaders told me that my presence would give an opportunity to the Left and the Congress to disrupt the budget speech. So I left the Assembly a minute before the finance minister placed his budget (at 3pm),” he added.