Kolkata: Opposition Left Front on Sunday set a precedent by observing former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu`s birth anniversary outside the West Bengal Assembly after the Speaker disallowed many ex-MLAs to enter the premises on a holiday.
Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra, a senior leader of the CPI-M, said Speaker Biman Banerjee allowed only the current MLAs, MPs and former Speaker H A Halim to enter the House to observe Basu`s birth anniversary, describing the stand as "unprecedented".
"In protest, we observed Basu`s birth anniversary outside the north gate of the Assembly. Only some members along with me and former speaker H A Halim entered the Assembly premises to garland the portrait of Basu," Mishra said.
When contacted, the Speaker told PTI that he cannot allow everybody to enter into the House on a holiday without prior permission.
"Any non-member or former member of the House may not have any job in the House on a holiday. For any specific reason, they could be allowed only after prior permission. Unfortunately I have not received any official request in this regard," Banerjee argued.
Though Basu`s birthday falls on July eight, the West Bengal government observed the birth anniversary two days ago because the Assembly does not sit on a Sunday. The Left Front MLAs had abstained from the function.