BJP to move no-trust against Biman Banerjee
The leader of the Opposition in the Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said the BJP was planning to move a no-confidence motion against Speaker Biman Banerjee after he rejected an adjournment motion against the state government on Monday and limited the functioning of four BJP MLAs for the remaining two days of the ongoing session.
“We are planning to table a no-confidence motion against the Speaker during the budget session because he rejected our adjournment and limited the functions of our four MLAs today,” Adhikari told journalists on Monday.
A face-off between BJP MLAs and the Speaker began with the Opposition tabling an adjournment motion on Monday to protest the government’s alleged involvement in creating additional or supernumerary posts for candidates deprived of teaching jobs so that those who had allegedly got employment illegally could continue in service.
The adjournment motion, BJP sources said, was brought in connection with the observations of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of Calcutta High Court on Friday. The judge had asked — during the hearing of a case on illegal appointments at schools — whether the government was trying to save the persons who had obtained the jobs illegally. Justice Gangopadhyay had also said he would ask the Election Commission of India to withdraw the symbol of the Trinamul Congress and such a move would create history.
The motion was rejected by Banerjee who said as the matter was sub judice, it couldn’t be entertained inside the House. Banerjee’s decision prompted loud protests from the Opposition MLAs who raised slogans and later staged a walkout.
Although he had rejected Adhikari’s plea, the Speaker called out the names of the four BJP MLAs — Hiranmoy Chatterjee, Gopal Saha, Nikhil Ranjan Dey and Partha Sarathi Chatterjee — in a short while as they were to mention some of the problems in their respective areas. The MLAs, who were busy raising slogans, didn’t respond to the call.
At the beginning of the second half of the session, Banerjee announced that he was barring the four BJP lawmakers from mentioning anything in the remaining two days of the ongoing session as they had ignored his call.
“Our colleagues couldn’t speak when the Speaker called their names because they were participating in the sloganeering. There was no situation for them to speak. It is upon the Speaker to maintain order in the House, which he has failed to do,” Adhikari said, adding that none of the BJP MLAs would mention any case for the rest of the session in solidarity with the four legislators.
He also said the decision to disallow the four MLAs from mentioning anything was not right.
Reacting to Adhikari’s claims, Banerjee said he expected the Opposition to behave responsibly inside the House. “You must notice that during the question and answer hour, 70 per cent of the questions are raised by the Opposition. We give them respect. Similarly, the Opposition must also respect the speaker,” Banerjee said.
“They (the four MLAs) were inside the House. I was calling their names expecting they would respond, but they didn’t. They shouted slogans and walked out. Their approach has hurt me,” he added.
Taking a dig at Adhikari, parliamentary affairs minister Sovandeb Chatterjee said it appeared to him that Adhikari “has lost his balance”. “He has been a lawmaker for so long. Doesn’t he know that he cannot bring a motion related to a sub-judice matter? In his speech, he had himself admitted that the matter was sub judice,” Chatterjee said.