New seating arrangement for Trinamool MPs likely from Monday
New Delhi: MPs of Trinamool Congress, once a UPA ally, are expected to be seated in the Opposition benches in the Lok Sabha from Sunday.
In fact, a lot of changes in the seating arrangements are on the cards with the inclusion of 17 MPs into the government a month back and removal of a few ministers.
TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay told a news agency that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has assured him that the new seating arrangements would be in place by tomorrow.
The 19-member group, which was part of the Congress-led UPA till just two months back, has already told the Lok Sabha Secretariat that its seating arrangement needed to be changed as it was no longer in the ruling alliance.
The formal changes in the seat allotment will be done by the Secretariat after the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry completes the exercise which is at an advanced stage.
Interestingly, Bandopadhyay moved the no trust motion against the Manmohan Singh Ministry on November 22 on the issue of FDI in retail by sitting on the side of the treasury benches. It turned out to be a flop due to lack of adequate numbers.
While the blueprint of the changed seating arrangements is not known, reports had it that the TMC members may find themselves in the company of the Left, their arch rivals in West Bengal politics.
The seats next to the UPA-bloc are occupied by the members belonging to the parties who support the Manmohan Singh government from outside ? SP, BSP, RJD, JD(S).
The space between the NDA and UPA members is occupied by the people belonging to the Left parties, AIADMK, TDP, TRS and independents.
Bandopadhyay said the TMC is demanding a seating arrangement where the partymen could sit as a block unlike now which is in a scattered manner.
He said Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has asked Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also the Leader of the House, to sort out the issue of a larger room in Parliament for the TMC.
The TMC had been allocated the room being occupied by the RJD Parliamentary Party, but it has not got possession of the room yet. Lalu Prasad's party was given the room in the last Lok Sabha when it had 24 members and now the number has dwindled to just four.
The induction of several new Ministers would also prompt a change in the seating order as some of them were backbenchers.