LS passes MCI Bill, TMC votes against it

LS passes MCI Bill, TMC votes against it

Trinamool wanted poll to be held for Board

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata  Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is back again to embarrass the ruling UPA government. The UPA ally on Monday voted against the Medical Council of India (MCI) Bill in the Lok Sabha although the legislation was eventually passed.

The Bill, which will now be taken up by the Rajya Sabha where the UPA is a minority, seeks to extend the term of the MCI board of governors by one year. The Trinamool move forced Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal to talk to the Trinamool chief immediately after the vote. Mamata is understood to have promised him that her party would vote for the Bill, provided her conditions are met.

In the Lok Sabha, while Trianmool Congress MP Ratna De  asked the government to withdraw the Bill, Tarun Mandal, an independent member supported by the Trinamool, said the Minister has failed to restore democratic nature of the MCI. This made Left party members thump the desk. Trinamool members described the Bill as undemocratic and wanted elections to be held within six months for the Board.

Trinamool leader Kalyan Banerjee said his party was opposed to the parity that the bill proposes between ayurvedic practitioners and doctors with MBBS degrees. Minister of State for Health Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who is from the Trinamool Congress, was not in Parliament for the vote.

The Trinamool had earlier embarrassed the government on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill issue.

After helping the government pass the controversial Bill, the party opposed it in Rajya Sabha in December last year. Apparently scared of the Bill being defeated, the government was not keen on going for voting. The House was adjourned at the stroke of the midnight on December 29-30 amid acrimonious scenes.  Thus the Bill eventually got stuck and lapsed as the winter session was prorogued.

Recently, the Trinamool opened another front against the Centre as it opposed the June 30 deadline for changing the delivery of cable TV to digital.

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