Kolkata: West Bengal Assembly Speaker H
A Halim on Friday accepted a privilege notice against three
Trinamool Congress MLAs who obstructed him from leaving the
House, saying their action amounted to breach of privilege.
The notice of breach of privilege and contempt was
moved by RSP legislator Tapan Hore under Rule 226 against
Trinamool Congress legislators Firhad Hakim, Arup Biswas and
Halim accepted the motion for discussion in the next
session since today was the closing day of the current one.
Demanding termination of their membership, Hore said
that the conduct of the three members was unbecoming and
Trinamool Congress members, who entered while Hore was
moving the motion, began shouting along with Congress members
and the lone SUCI member.
CLP leader Manas Bhuniya said that the chief minister
should have been present in the House yesterday when Leader of
the Opposition, Partha Chatterjee raised the motion under Rule
319 highlighting the failure of the Left Front government.
Stating that as per convention the chief minister
should be present in the House, Trinamool Congress legislator
Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay claimed that Halim had assured him as
such during the Business Advisory Committee meeting.
Halim, however, countered him saying that at no point
of time had he said that the chief minister would be present
in the House.
As per ethics, the Speaker said, the chief minister
should be present, but it was not mandatory and the government
could depute any cabinet minister to reply in his absence.
Halim said that he had informed the Opposition as soon
as he came to know that the chief minister would not be
present due to exigencies of work and the Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Sailen Sarkar would speak on his behalf.
The Speaker said he fell ill yesterday and had to
undergo a checkup by physicians, adding he told the media
yesterday that he was obstructed and not assaulted.
"It does not mean I was not mentally assaulted."
The Speaker fell ill and had to be administered oxygen
when Trinamool Congress member Arup Biswas tried to prevent
him from leaving after he adjourned the House for the day.