MLAs from North Bengal, both N & S Dinajpur take oath
KOLKATA: Subrata Mukherjee, the pro-tem Speaker, administered the oath to the MLAs from Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Darjeeling in two sessions at a ceremony held at the Assembly House on Friday. The first session began at 11 am and the second session started at 2 pm.
Subrata Bakshi, Trinamool Congress state president said seven of his party colleagues could not take oath as they were infected with COVID-19. Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP president, said the BJP's legislature party had decided that its MLAs would neither take part in the election of the Speaker nor attend the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers at Raj Bhavan on Monday in protest against the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
Ghosh maintained that the party MLAs would not attend the Assembly session till the situation improves. This is unprecedented that BJP's legislature party has failed to elect its leader. The saffron party's state president had to brief the press regarding the decision.
Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of the TMC, said: "The decision of the BJP of not attending the Speaker's election and subsequently the swearing-in-ceremony of the ministers is an insult to the Indian Constitution. The MLAs have taken oath and then decided to boycott the Assembly sessions."
Mukul Roy, BJP national vice-president who has been elected from Krishnanagar North Assembly seat, was sworn-in. After taking the oath, he held a meeting with Bakshi. The speculation that Roy might come back to Trinamool intensified after he skipped the meeting of the BJP's legislature party. When asked about his future plans and whether he was contemplating coming back to TMC, Roy said: "I will let you know at the right time."
Two BJP MPs, Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar, who have been elected from Dinhata in Cooch Behar and Ranaghat in Nadia, did not take oath as MLAs. If they continue as Parliamentarians and don't take oath as MLAs, the seats will become vacant and there will be a by-election in these two seats.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Assembly Secretariat has stopped the entry of the Central force personnel in the Assembly House. The decision was taken after some Central force personnel, who were accompanying Suvendu Adhikari, reportedly misbehaved with some journalists. The latter drew the attention of the pro-tem Speaker and sought his intervention.