Lalu miffed over RJD room being given to Trinamool

Last Updated 08 September 2011, 10:08 IST

The RJD chief, who has also raised the issue with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was determined not to give up his party's claim on Room No.129 saying "this has been our room and will remain our office."

Prasad told reporters today that a similar situation had arisen earlier also when this room was allotted to BSP but the matter was later resolved.

Prasad's party was given this room during UPA 1 when he was Railway Minister and his party had 24 MPs in Lok Sabha. Now RJD's strength in Lok Sabha is reduced to four. It has four members in the Rajya Sabha.

Trinamool Congress, which has 19 MPs in Lok Sabha and two in Rajya Sabha does not have an office room though it does have a chamber for Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

According to the Parliament rules a party with a minimum of seven MPs in both Houses is entitled to a room and the size of the room given to parties depend upon their strength in the Houses. While the rooms for ministers are allotted by the Government, Speaker does it in case of party offices.

In the latest allotment, Mamata Banerjee’s party was given room 129 while the RJD was given a smaller room number 125. After the room was alloted to Trinamool Congress, two of its MPs yesterday went to see Room Number 129 but found it occupied by RJD members.

"They were not knowing that we are already keeping the room. We called them inside and offered them tea. There is no dispute between us," RJD MP Jagtanand Singh said

In his letter to the Speaker, Prasad has said that he has got information about allotment of room number 129 to Trinmaool Congress. He had met the Speaker along with his MPs in her Parliament office yesterday.

The RJD chief argues that he may have only eight MPs now but can have more in future and hence the room should remain with his party.

"Earlier also the room was allotted to BSP after which two meetings had taken place in your office and the issue was resolved after your kind intervention. Now an issue, which has already been settled has been raised again, which does not appear appropriate and practical," he said in the letter.

Prasad also said that Trinamool Congress has six seven ministers and the Rail minister' office is near Parliament's entry and hence members of that party have no problem.
"RJD does not have any other room in Parliament for seating and carrying out Parliamentary work, not even a room for an RJD member heading a Parliamentary panel. Hence you are requested to maintain the status quo of the room as RJD office as it was earlier," Prasad said.

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Sudip Bandopadhyay, however, reacted sharply to the suggestion saying "Why should we use the Railway Minister's room? It is for use by the Minister for departmental purposes and to hold official meetings with MPs and others."

He added "We are a party with 30 MPs and RJD has seven. With so many MPs, we have been without a room for 26 months. We were given possession of Room no.129. The Speaker has been taking pains to get a room for us, but RJD is not responding. We can't fight. It is now left to the Parliament Secretariat to hand over a room to us in the next session in a vacant position.

(Published 08 September 2011, 10:08 IST)

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