Kolkata: The West Bengal Assembly Thursday passed a bill providing for appointment of state lawmakers as parliament secretaries with the rank and status of ministers of state.
The West Bengal Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2012, was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee and passed during the day amid a boycott by opposition Left Front and Congress legislators.
The parliamentary secretaries would help in planning and coordination of legislative business and serve as a link between administrative secretaries and ministers, says the bill.
However, the opposition went hammer and tongs at the legislation, saying it was an effort to contain dissidence in the Mamata Banerjee-led ruling Trinamool Congress.
"The bill`s aim is to control the infighting, discontent, and provide new posts to dissident elements in the Trinamool. It is an effort to solve issues in the Trinamool. It is not meant for the people of the state," said leader of opposition and Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra.
The LF members have already written to Governor M.K. Narayanan referring to observations by various high courts and the Supreme Court on such legislations enacted in other states.
"This legislation will in no way help in coordination of government work. Instead, it will only complicate the business of governance," Mishra said.
With the state`s finances already in bad shape, the monetary implication of the legislation would further aggravate matters, he said.
The LF has been boycotting the House proceedings for the past two days in protest against Speaker Biman Banerjee`s decision to suspend three of its lawmakers, while the Congress members staged a walk out crying foul over a motion moved by the party not being taken up for discussion.