Left Front observes Basu's birth anniversary outsi

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.