New Delhi: Miffed over the RJD office room in
Parliament being allotted to Trinamool Congress, Lalu Prasad
has shot off a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar asking
her to reconsider the decision.
The RJD chief, who has also raised the issue with Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was determined not to give up his
party`s claim on Room No.129 saying "this has been our room
and will remain our office."
Prasad told reporters today that a similar situation had
arisen earlier also when this room was allotted to BSP but the
matter was later resolved.
Prasad`s party was given this room during UPA 1 when he
was Railway Minister and his party had 24 MPs in Lok Sabha.
Now RJD`s strength in Lok Sabha is reduced to four. It
has four members in the Rajya Sabha.
Trinamool Congress, which has 19 MPs in Lok Sabha and
two in Rajya Sabha does not have an office room though it does
have a chamber for Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
According to the Parliament rules a party with a
minimum of seven MPs in both Houses is entitled to a room and
the size of the room given to parties depend upon their
strength in the Houses. While the rooms for ministers are
allotted by the Government, Speaker does it in case of party
In the latest allotment, Mamata Banerjee?s party was
given room 129 while the RJD was given a smaller room number
125. After the room was alloted to Trinamool Congress, two of
its MPs yesterday went to see Room Number 129 but found it
occupied by RJD members.
"They were not knowing that we are already keeping the
room. We called them inside and offered them tea. There is no
dispute between us," RJD MP Jagtanand Singh said.
In his letter to the Speaker, Prasad has said that he
has got information about allotment of room number 129 to
Trinmaool Congress. He had met the Speaker along with
his MPs in her Parliament office yesterday.
The RJD chief argues that he may have only eight MPs
now but can have more in future and hence the room should
remain with his party.
"Earlier also the room was allotted to BSP after which
two meetings had taken place in your office and the issue was
resolved after your kind intervention. Now an issue, which has
already been settled has been raised again, which does not
appear appropriate and practical," he said in the letter.
Prasad also said that Trinamool Congress has six seven
ministers and the Rail minister` office is near Parliament`s
entry and hence members of that party have no problem.
"RJD does not have any other room in Parliament for
seating and carrying out Parliamentary work, not even a room
for an RJD member heading a Parliamentary panel. Hence you are
requested to maintain the status quo of the room as RJD
office as it was earlier," Prasad said.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Minister of State
for Health and Family Welfare Sudip Bandopadhyay, however,
reacted sharply to the suggestion saying "Why should we use
the Railway Minister`s room? It is for use by the Minister for
departmental purposes and to hold official meetings with MPs
He added "We are a party with 30 MPs and RJD has
seven. With so many MPs, we have been without a room for 26
months. We were given possession of Room no.129. The Speaker
has been taking pains to get a room for us, but RJD is not
responding. We can`t fight. It is now left to the Parliament
Secretariat to hand over a room to us in the next session in a