West Bengal issue: TMC writes to Speaker, RS Chairman

Derek O'Brien. File photo

The TMC has taken umbrage at the raising of "same questions" on law and order situation in West Bengal repeatedly in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by "violating" rules, saying it is "butchering" parliamentary democratic process.

In separate but almost identical letters to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, TMC floor leaders, in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien have cited Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha which says that a question "shall not repeat in substance questions already answered".

"Ten advisories have gone to the state government in ten days. This is butchering the parliamentary democratic process. Why is the Bengal government being targeted in such manner? We strongly protest this and request you to kindly look into it," Bandyopadhyay and O'Brien said in the letters.

In his letter to the Speaker, Bandyopadhyay said that three questions have been allowed in Lok Sabha regarding political violence during the 2019 elections. All the three questions raised on July 2 were related to West Bengal violence. Two of them were by three BJP MPs while the third was raised by TMC lawmaker Prasun Banerjee.

O'Brien said that four such questions have been allowed in Rajya Sabha. The questions were raised on July 10 and two of them were raised by a BJP MP, which was related to West Bengal, while others were raised by MPs from Samajwadi Party and the AAP, who asked about political violence across the country.

"The Parliament of India does not discuss any question repetitively. The same question is not normally allowed to be raised on the floor of this august House again and again with minor variations. But the law and order situation in West Bengal has been raised multiple times in different forms during this session," both the leaders said.

The war of attrition played out in West Bengal between the TMC and the BJP has spilled over to the Parliament where BJP MPs are attempting to corner the TMC government in the state.

The BJP has accused the TMC of unleashing violence against its cadre, a charge vehemently denied by the Mamata Banerjee-led party.

O'Brien said that they were not casting any aspersions on anyone. "We are not against the right of a Parliamentarian to raise questions but only want Parliamentary rules to be followed," he said.

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