West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Tuesday urged Manas Bhuniya to step down from the post of chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and asked him not to fall into the trap of Trinamool Congress.
Also on Monday, Tapas Roy, deputy chief whip of Trinamool Congress also lodged a privilege notice against leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan. Bhuniya was made the chairman of the committee on Monday. In an unprecedented move, Congress and Left Front staged a walk out in the Assembly against his appointment. This is for the first time in the history of West Bengal Assembly when the MLAs of a political party staged a walk out after one of their fellow members was made the chairman.
Congress wanted Sujan Chakraborty, leader of Left Front Legislative party, to be made chairman of the PAC. “I request Dr Bhuniya to step down and not to fall into the trap of Trinamool Congress,” Chowdhury said.
When contacted, Bhuniya said, “I will not comment on the matter. I am keeping a tab on the whole situation.” Political analysts said this would lead to splitting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) and leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan, who was not in speaking terms with Bhuniya till recently, had tried to stop this.
The CLP had submitted a list of its nominees, with Bhuniya’s name listed at the top. The other members were Asit Mitra, Sukhbilas Barma and Shankar Singh. Seeing that Bhuniya would get the post, Mannan went to Delhi and convinced All India Congress Committee members that Sujan Chakraborty would be Congress’ nominee for the post. It may be recalled that Bhuniya had opposed the alliance and had met party chairperson Sonia Gandhi earlier.
After his plan failed, Mannan started blaming the Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay and termed the appointment a conspiracy. Experts said that Mannan’s gesture did not go well with the party’s rank and file, who want a MLA from the party to hold the post.
Similarly, many CPI(M) leaders and workers were reportedly shocked to see the ‘shamelessness’ of some pro alliance leaders to get the post. “It is unfortunate that when the party’s central committee and politburo have condemned the alliance with Congress, some party leaders are bereft of any ideology. They are setting a bad example before the party’s rank and file by terming this decision a ‘people’s decision’,” they said.
“It was not the people’s decision but the decision of some leaders with vested interest,” they added.