The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM lines up railway dilemma for Mamata

New Delhi, Nov. 20: The CPM is out to embarrass Mamata Banerjee on Eastern Railway’s bifurcation, the issue on which the Trinamul Congress chief stormed out of the NDA. She now appears to be willing to return.

Senior CPM leader Basudev Acharya said his party has given a notice for a discussion under rule 193, which does not entail voting. Speaker Manohar Joshi is yet to take a decision and allot time for the debate.

Trinamul sources said the party has now rejoined the NDA and the bifurcation issue was as good as buried. At the most, some readjustments could be made on zones. But CPM leaders said they will insist on a discussion.

Asked if the party would collaborate with Trinamul in taking up the issue in the House, Acharya said there was no question of any truck with Mamata. “They (Trinamul) are not against bifurcation now. She (Mamata) is not speaking against it now. I raised the issue in the consultative committee meeting of the railways on November 13. I asked the minister specific questions but did not get any,” he said.

Mamata has been keeping a low profile since her return to Delhi for the winter session. With the party chief awaiting an appointment with both Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani, Trinamul did not participate in Monday’s discussion on Gujarat.

The party also skipped today’s discussion on the starvation deaths in Rajasthan. A Trinamul source explained that the party leaders were out of Delhi for long and did not find time to discuss the Parliament agenda, which was decided at short notice by the Speaker.

Mamata has appointed Ranjit Panja Trinamul’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha in place of rebel MP Sudip Bandopadhyay. Panja will throw a dinner for his colleagues tomorrow. The dinner meeting, which will be attended by Mamata too, is likely to discuss the political scenario and the party’s strategy in the House.

The Business Advisory Committee, which met during the day, has tentatively decided to allow a discussion under Rule 193 on the political turmoil in Uttar Pradesh.

After that, a discussion on disinvestment may be taken up.

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, which is demanding the removal of Uttar Pradesh Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, had earlier given notice for an adjournment motion on the issue on Monday.

The securitisation and reconstruction of financial assets and enforcement of the security interest Bill is likely to be taken up tomorrow while the negotiable instruments amendment may be taken up on Friday.

The Opposition has demanded a discussion on disinvestment of public sector undertakings. The issue may be taken up in the first week of December, Parliament sources said.

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