Mamata sacks Kalyan Banerjee over Lokpal vote

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sacked senior party leader Kalyan Banerjee as party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha over the vote in favour of Lokpal Bill in the lower house.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2011, 13:14 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sacked senior party leader Kalyan Banerjee as party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha over the vote in favour of Lokpal Bill in the lower house.

As per reports, Friday, Mamata Banerjee feels that her party`s MPs were manoeuvred by the Congress to take a stand in favour of a bill. The West Bengal Chief Minister set things right by directing her MPs in the Rajya Sabha to oppose the bill.

TMC’s main objections to the bill passed by the Lok Sabha are the provisions regarding appointment of Lokayuktas in the state – which the party feels is against the federal structure outlined in the Indian Constitution.

Importantly, days ahead of the tabling of the Lokpal Bill in the Parliament, Mamata and herself backed the bill and had indicated that her party would vote in tandem with the government on it.

During the debate in the Lok Sabha, Kalyan Banerjee had said the bill diluted the power of the states in fighting corruption and it undermines the federal structure of the Constitution. "Does the Lokpal not interfere with the function of the states? Don`t undermine the state legislatures. It would be a dangerous proposition," he had told the Lok Sabha.

However, when the bill was put to vote, TMC MPs had voted in its favour amid reports that the TMC parliamentary party was divided between Mukul Roy and Kalyan Banerjee.