Featured Image: Abdul Mannan in file photo.
By A Newsman
Kolkata, 08 February: WEST Bengal Assembly is witnessing massive pandemonium after the Speaker suspended Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan (65) of the Congress for entering the House with posters containing photographs of vandalism in the Assembly by Trinamool MLAs in 2006.
Mannan fell ill and has now been admitted to SSKM Hospital when marshals tried to drag him out from the House at the direction of the Speaker Biman Banerjee. Congress MLA Pratima Rajak has also been allegedly hackled by the marshals.
Peeved at this, opposition MLAs belonging to both Congress and the Left parties staged a walkout and took out a protest rally. The protest rally first made a round of the corridor leading to the House. The protesting MLAs then rallied around the Assembly building.
As of now, the Opposition MLAs are now carrying on with a sit-in at the foot of the statue of BR Ambedkar located on the Assembly premises. Congress MLAs have also sought time from Governor KN Tripathi to lodge a protest over the issue.
Trouble began after the state government introduced a new legislation ~ West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Bill, 2017 ~ in the second half of the day proposing stringent measures against destruction of public properties during bandhs or other political agitation.
Opposition MLAs, who are against the legislation and suggested some amendments, entered the House wearing posters containing photographs of the massive vandalism in the Assembly that Trinamool MLAs had carried out on 30 November 2006. That was after police had stopped Mamata Banerjee from going to Singur to participate in a demonstration against Tata Nano car factory.
Seeing this, Speaker Biman Banerjee asked Opposition MLAs to take off the posters and take part in the proceedings in a peaceful manner. But the Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan refused to take off the posters and instead went on insisting that the proposed legislation be put on hold until a threadbare discussion.
Following this, Speaker suspended Mannan from the House for two days and asked marshals to take him out when he refused to walkout. As soon the marshals got into action, other Opposition MLAs encircled Mannan so to stop the marshals from taking him out.
This resulted in a scuffle between the marshals and the Opposition MLAs. The scuffle continued for about 20 minutes, during which Mannna fell ill and MLA Pratima Rajan was hackled. Some marshals also suffered bruises in the process.
Congress and Left MLAs took out an unwell Mannan from the House on a stretcher and he was then taken to SSKM Hospital in an ambulance of the Assembly. Doctors have kept him under observation.
The state government, on the other hand, has got the contentious legislation passed by sound votes, in the absence of the Opposition.