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Left House boycott in poser protest

Calcutta, Nov. 29: The Left today accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of “reluctance” to answer questions pertaining to departments under her and boycotted the Assembly session for the second consecutive day.

When Speaker Biman Banerjee refused to allow discussions on police allegedly roughing up CPM leaders and social activists during a Saradha-related protest in front of the Bidhannagar commissionerate yesterday, the Left MLAs started shouting and staged a walkout.

“We wanted to raise the Saradha issue in the House today. We wanted to know the government’s stand. But the chief minister is never available. She would not speak,” Opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra of the CPM said at a news conference after the walkout.

“Who will reply to questions related to her home department?” Mishra asked.

“In the past 30 months, she didn’t find time to answer our questions,” he added.

The Left had boycotted yesterday’s House proceedings too over the Speaker’s refusal to allow discussions on the alleged attacks on the houses of CPM councillors in North 24-Parganas’ Halishahar.

Mamata was present in the Assembly today as she replies to questions related to departments under her control on Fridays. Today, the chief minister, who replied to a question on the health department, arrived after the Left MLAs started protesting.

Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee used to come to the Assembly on Thursdays and during the tabling of budgets or during important discussions.

MLAs from both the Left and the Congress today claimed that questions related to the chief minister’s departments were not being listed.

“I submitted 63 questions, including 15 related to the home department, but didn’t receive answers to any of them,” said CPM MLA Shahjahan Chowdhury. The Congress’s Asit Mitra echoed him.

Speaker Banerjee denied the allegations tonight. “Everything is happening according to rules,” he said.

Left leaders, including CPM state secretary Biman Bose, lashed out at the government at a rally in Rani Rashmoni Avenue this afternoon, accusing the administration of trying to stifle the voice of the Opposition.

Nirupam ill

CPM politburo member and former industries minister Nirupam Sen suffered a cerebral attack on Friday. He has been admitted to a nursing home in Calcutta.

Mishra and Bose visited Sen at the nursing home