Kolkata: The Left Front on Wednesday staged a walkout from the West Bengal Assembly protesting against the Speaker`s decision to disallow a CPI-M member to ask a listed question to a minister in the absence of one who was originally scheduled to ask it.
The issue came up during Question Hour as Speaker Biman Banerjee did not allow CPI(M) Member Insar Ali Biswas to ask a question to Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee in the absence of his party colleague SM Sadi.
Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that since the member enlisted for the question was absent in the House, he had already tabled it. Accordingly, the Speaker disallowed Biswas from raising the question.
But when the session began, the Speaker allowed Congress member Asit Mal to ask a question in the absence of his party colleague Asit Mitra.
Mitra, who was enlisted for the question, arrived late in the House.
Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra protested against the Speaker`s decision after which Left Front members walked out of the House for the entire day protesting against the `discrimination`.
Later, Mishra told reporters outside the House that the Speaker`s decision was unacceptable.
Describing it as `unprecedented`, Mishra said that if members of other political parties could be allowed to ask questions in the absence of members enlisted to ask them, why LF members in the House would be denied the privilege.
The arrogance of the treasury bench was unacceptable, Mishra said.
RSP member Subhas Naskar also criticised the Speaker for the act and termed it as "nothing but discrimination".