Kolkata: The West Bengal assembly on Thursday accepted a privilege motion against Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari who allegedly threatened four rebel BJP MLAs with Income Tax raids for disrupting his speech in the House.
A privilege motion has been accepted by the House against Adhikari and it is being forwarded to the Privilege Committee, Speaker Biman Banerjee announced as proceedings began at 11 am.
The Treasury Benches thumped desks, welcoming the announcement, while BJP MLAs protested. Following this, discussion on the state Budget began, in which both ruling and opposition MLAs participated.
The speaker later told reporters, ”After the four MLAs sent a joint letter to me, citing two charges against Suvendu Adhikari. I checked the records this morning and prima facie found the allegations true.” ”Prima facie there is a case. It is unprecedented and unfortunate that a leader of the opposition would use such words in the House. I have never come across such behavior during my long tenure in the state legislature. This is a criminal offense,” Banerjee said.
Privilege motion moved against Suvendu Adhikari for 'threatening' TMC minister in Bengal assembly
He said the committee will submit its report before the current session ends.
The four rebel BJP MLAs — Krishna Kalyani (Raiganj), Tanmoy Ghosh (Bishnupur), Soumen Roy (Kaliaganj) and Biswajit Das (Bagda) — had joined the TMC last year without giving up membership of the House. They have not yet been disqualified under the anti-defection law and continue to occupy the opposition benches.
When Adhikari was speaking in the House on the Home Department’s budget on Wednesday, they repeatedly interrupted him ”for lying and spreading canards against the state government”.
They later complained to the speaker that when a visibly infuriated Adhikari walked out of the House, he allegedly threatened them with I-T raids for interrupting his speech.
The speaker took note of the complaint and said the four MLAs will be provided with protection in accordance with the rules of the House.
Adhikari dubbed the allegations baseless, and told reporters, ”The way the ruling party tried to create disturbance during my speech by using turncoat MLAs is unprecedented. Let them first prove it (the allegations), let them bring privilege motion.” One of the rebel MLAs, Soumen Roy, also alleged outside the House that Adhikari had threatened to shoot him.
”He has also threatened to shoot me. But I did not mention it in the assembly,” he claimed.
According to sources in the state government, the four MLAs have been accorded additional security by the police.
The speaker has also been requested to ensure the MLAs are given separate seats in the House.