Kolkata: Opposition Left Front on Monday
walked out of an all-party meeting held to discuss the recent
hooch tragedy that claimed 173 lives in protest against
alleged irresponsible remarks by the state Parliamentary
Affairs minister blaming the CPI(M) for the deaths.
LF sources said that all their members walked out
of the meeting, convened by West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman
Banerjee, after the minister, Partha Chatterjee, refused to
withdraw his remarks blaming the CPI(M) for the casualties
at Sangrampur and surrounding areas in South 24-Parganas
Chatterjee had claimed that toxic materials were
deliberately mixed in the brew that led to the unusually high
death toll since last Tuesday.
The sources said that the leader of the Opposition,
Suryakanta Mishra, urged Chatterjee to withdraw his remark at
the start of the all-party meeting .
``When the minister refused to oblige, Mishra argued
that since the government had singled out CPI(M) for the
deaths, there was no justification for inviting the CPI(M) to
the all-party meet,`` the sources said.
It was at the instance of Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee that the all-party meeting was called by the Speaker
to discuss the hooch deaths and take steps to check its
recurrence in the state.
The chief minister, however, was not present as she
was bereaved by her mother`s death on Saturday.
Earlier, when the House assembled for the day, senior
CPI(M) leader Abdur Rezzak Molla requested the Speaker to ask
Chatterjee to come to the House and admit his mistake in
making such a statement.
The left front members walked out when Chatterjee refused
withdraw his remark.