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Rivals unite in Assembly

Calcutta, July 9: A senior Trinamul MLA today supported the Left Front’s motion against the possible appointment of a BJP leader as Bengal governor, the rare unity in the Assembly reinforcing the ruling dispensation’s discomfort with Narendra Modi’s party.

Speaker Biman Banerjee had yesterday denied the Left permission to table the motion demanding a discussion on the appointment of the governor but allowed it today after “considering all aspects”. After the Speaker’s refusal yesterday, some Trinamul leaders had rued a lost chance to attack the BJP.

The Congress’s Mohammad Sohrab also supported today’s motion.

Although Trinamul MLA Silbhadra Datta and Congress legislator Sohrab did not take any names during the discussion in the House on the governor’s appointment, the CPM’s Anisur Rahman spoke of the possible appointment of Kalyan Singh, who as Uttar Pradesh chief minister had failed to prevent the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

“This great state of ours ought not to have a governor who had a brush with communal disharmony. Governors should ideally not be pawns of political parties in power at the Centre,” Trinamul MLA Datta said in the Assembly during the 15-minute discussion.

The CPM’s Rahman said: “Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister during the destruction of a great monument of immense archaeological significance, should not be mde the governor of our state.”

A Trinamul leader said the discussion gave the party the “chance” to “oppose” the BJP. “Good that we took part in this exercise today,” he said.

The Trinamul leader said the party leadership “felt that a good opportunity was missed yesterday”. The reference to the Babri Masjid was dropped from the motion today.

Today’s motion stated: “To uphold the great heritage of communal harmony of this state, this House recommends to the Union government through the state government to not appoint as governor of this state those persons who were involved in political communal incidents.”

The motion adds that it has been noted that efforts were on to appoint as governors “loyalists” of the ruling combine at the Centre.

Although Singh’s appointment as Bengal governor has not been officially announced by the Union government, his name has been doing the rounds in Delhi since the resignation of M.K. Narayanan. Bihar governor D.Y. Patil has taken additional charge of Bengal.

Speaker Banerjee today turned down an adjournment motion moved by Congress MLAs Manas Bhunia and Nepal Mahato on the “deprivation of Bengal” in the rail budget.