Monday, 30th October 2017

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Mamata dares Left on rail accidents

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  • Published 31.07.10

New Delhi, July 30: Mamata Banerjee today dared the CPM to corner her over rail accidents by asking for a House debate of the kind the UPA government is reluctant to allow on price rise as it entails voting.

The railway minister has thrown the gauntlet at a time the Congress-led Centre that she is part of continues to reject the BJP’s demand for a discussion on inflation under rule 184 of the Lok Sabha. The deadlock has crippled the House since the monsoon session began on Monday.

In the presence of reporters, Mamata directed Sudip Bandopadhyay, her Trinamul colleague and the party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, not to oppose the rule 184 debate if the Left asked for it. Bandopadhyay is also a member of the Lok Sabha’s business advisory committee, which decides the agenda.

But Mamata was silent on why the Congress was not showing similar courage and accepting the BJP’s demand for a discussion on price rise under the same rule she was using to dare the Left.

On price rise, Trinamul has given a notice for discussion under rule 193, which does not require voting, and Mamata has said it is the best she can do while being part of the government.

Basudeb Acharya, the CPM’s leader in the Lok Sabha, said: “If Mamata wants it (the discussion) under a rule that entails voting, why should we shy away? But for 184, the government has to agree. It is not entirely the Speaker’s decision,” Acharya said.

The Left, particularly the CPM, plans to put Mamata on the mat by stressing that she has failed in her job. Mamata has hit back by alleging a “CPM conspiracy” behind the rail accidents in Bengal.

Later in the day, Mamata met new chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi. The Trinamul chief has been demanding early Bengal elections but Quraishi ruled out such a possibility at a news conference after the meeting.