Fisticuffs in Bengal assembly: Three MLAs hurt (Third Lead)

West Bengal,Politics, Tue, 11 Dec 2012 IANS

Kolkata, Dec 11 (IANS) Fist-fights broke out in the West Bengal assembly between ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition Left Front members on the issue of chit funds operating in the state, resulting in three legislators being injured and hospitalised and suspension of three others.

The Left Front and Congress leaders later met West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan, seeking his intervention as, they said, the opposition was "unable to discuss matters of public importance inside the assembly".

Earlier, the fracas broke out when the Left Front moved an adjournment motion over the state government's alleged failure to curb chit funds in the state.

After assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee rejected the plea for an adjournment motion, lawmakers from the two sides came to blows. Following the scuffle, the house was adjourned.

Three Left legislators - Amjad Hussain, Nazibul Haq and Sushanta Besra - have been suspended by the speaker for the entire winter session.

While the opposition Left Front accused Trinamool legislators of starting the fight and claimed that one of its members was injured, the ruling party rubbished the claims and asserted that two of its lawmakers were injured due to the "goondaism" of the Left.

"Time and again we have been denied our demand of admitting an adjournment motion on important issues of public importance. Since the Trinamool government has come to power, all our adjournment motions have been rejected for discussion, mostly on flimsy grounds," Leader of Opposition and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra said.

Mishra said his party member Gouranga Chattopadhyay had to be hospitalised after being assaulted allegedly by Trinamool members in the assembly.

"Not only Chattopadhyay was assaulted but also our women legislator Debolina Hembram was manhandled and filthy language was used against her," said Mishra.

"I was repeatedly hit on the head with a heavy object," said Chattopadhyay before being wheeled inside the state-run SSKM Hospital.

Trinamool Congress leader and the state's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee rubbished Mishra's claim, and in turn said two of his party members Mahmuda Hossain and Pulak Roy were severely assaulted by CPI-M members and they had to be hospitalised.

"The CPI-M has been creating trouble inside the house for the last few days. Amjad Hussain, Nazimul Haq and Sushanta Besra not only physically assaulted the speaker but also used filthy language against him. They have also injured two of our members who are now hospitalised with serious injuries," said Chatterjee.

"The CPI-M's goondaism is politically motivated. They are doing this on purpose as they want to malign the government. They are frustrated with the success of the government. That is why they are venting their ire on our members," said Chatterjee.

The Left Front has called the suspension of its members "unconstitutional" and has sat on a demonstration outside the assembly, demanding their suspension be revoked.

"The suspension of three of our members is against the principles of natural justice and the constitution because they have not been given an opportunity to be heard. They have been punished without being able to defend themselves," Mishra said.

"The decision of the speaker to suspend our members was influenced by the minister of parliamentary affairs (Partha Chatterjee), which is unacceptable and goes against the law of the land. We will continue to protest until their suspensions are revoked," added Mishra.

"Some of our members were crying. We all were apprehensive of our security, we have walked out for the day. It is really surprising that the temple of democracy has been polluted and desecrated," Congress leader Manas Bhunia said.

A delegation of Congress legislators, led by Bhunia, and another of Left Front members, led by CPI-M's Anisur Rahman, met Governor M.K. Narayanan at Raj Bhavan to apprise him of the day's happenings inside the assembly.



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