Space war in Parliament House

Space war in Parliament House

Space war in Parliament House

Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members on Tuesday engaged in an unseemly duel over a room in the Parliament House.

The centre of the controversy was the spacious Room No 5, near the lobby leading to the Central Hall of Parliament, which the TDP claims to be in possession of since 1984.

Claiming that the room had been allocated to TMC members, MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Kalyan Banerjee and Sultan Ahmed walked into the room on Tuesday afternoon and held a meeting. TMC boards were also put up outside the room.

TDP members were away at that point of time, and only an office attendant was present. Minutes later, they reached the room and reinstalled the nameplates of their party leaders Y S Chowdary, Thota Narsimhan and C M Ramesh there.

Heated arguments ensued between the members of the two parties, with each staking claim to the room.

In an office memorandum issued on June 25, the Lok Sabha Secretariat had allotted Room No 5 to the TDP and assigned two rooms on the third floor to the TMC. “We had rejected the allocation. We are the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha, and our combined strength, including the Rajya Sabha, is 46. Should we go to the third floor,” asked an angry Bandyopadhyay.

Another letter was issued by the LS Secretariat on August 6 allotting Rooms 135 and 136 to the TDP and Room No 5 to the TMC.

The TDP, which claims to have been in possession of the room since 1984, never vacated it even when its numbers dipped to five in the Lower House in 2004 and rose marginally to six in 2009.

The party currently has 17 members in the Lok Sabha and eight in the Rajya Sabha.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, TDP Parliamentary Party leader Y S Chowdary cited “emotional attachment” with Room No 5 and urged her to allow party to continue using the accommodation.

Chowdary later told reporters that the TDP would raise the issue of the “uncultured” behaviour of TMC members with the Speaker. “The TMC's uncultured approach has led to this,” he said about the row over the room.