Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday came in for flak from the
opposition Congress and the Trinamool Congress for remaining
absent during a discussion in the assembly on the obituary
reference to his late counterpart Siddhartha Shankar Ray.
"By remaining absent during the discussion, the chief
minister has shown disrespect for the traditions of
parliamentary democracy," senior Trinamool Congress leader
and Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee told newsmen.
Pointing out that the chief minister usually attended
the House on Thursdays, Chatterjee said, "by not attending the
discussion, he has insulted the culture of Bengal. We had
shown due courtesy and respect after the death of Jyoti Basu."
CLP leader Manas Bhuina pointed out that while the
chief minister remained absent from the House, no one from the
treasury benches had participated in the discussions on Ray.
"This is very unfortunate. We strongly condemn this,"
Bhuina said Ray, despite being a former chief
minister, was not given a state funeral although Jyoti Basu
was honoured with one. The state government also did not care
to give due honour to two other former chief ministers Ajay
Mukherjee and Prafulla Sen during their funeral.
"Actually, the Communists have scant regard for the
traditions of parliamentary democracy. They have polluted the
democratic environment of the House by what they did today,"
Demanding a oil painting of Ray in the Assembly,
Bhuina said he would write to Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim about
Government Chief Whip Md Masih, however, said a
condolence motion on Ray was adopted in the House when it
assembled on December 10 on the first day of the session.
"The chief minister was present on that day, but did
not join the discussion as the Opposition had not demanded it.
They do not know the rule which says that they will have to
ask for a discussion," he said.
Masih said a discussion on the obituary today would
`not have been in the fitness of things` as the Opposition had
not demanded it.