West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday (September 6) intervened to pacify the MLAs of the ruling TMC and the opposition Congress, who were at loggerheads over a comment by a state minister during Question Hour.
Unruly scenes were witnessed in the House as Congress and TMC MLAs trooped to the well and exchanged angry words during the Question Hour after the comment made by state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari did not go down well with the MLAs of the grand old party.
When Congress MLA Pratima Rajak questioned Adhikari over alleged corruption in recruitment of drivers and conductors in state transport corporations, the minister lost his cool and asked the Congress MLA either to prove her charge or apologise before the House.
Adhikari, who is also the TMC’s observer for Murshidabad district — a stronghold of the Congress — said, in the coming days, the rest of the Congress MLAs from Murshidabad would join the TMC and none of the Congress MLAs from the district would be able to win the 2021 Assembly polls in the state.
The minister’s comment angered the Congress MLAs, who said that Adhikari neither has the authority to seek apology from any MLA nor can he make such “unparliamentary comment that all Congress MLAs will join the TMC in the coming days”.
The Congress MLAs came down to the well and protested against Adhikari’s comment. Party MLA Kamalesh Chatterjee from Bharatpur Assembly constituency in Murshidabad district, ran towards Adhikari’s seat to protest against his comment. Following this, TMC MLAs also rushed to the well and started shouting slogans against the Congress MLAs.
Mamata Banerjee, who was then present in the House, came down to the well and pacified the MLAs of both the ruling party and the Congress and controlled the situation. She rebuked her party MLAs for coming down to the well and requested the Congress MLAs to go back to their seats.
Later, Speaker Biman Banerjee urged the MLAs, including ministers, to be more cautious during the Question Hour.