Left Front members resisted outside the West Bengal assembly Sunday following the speaker not allowed ex- assembly members from joining to pay respects to past CM Jyoti Basu on his 99th birth anniversary.
The ex-assembly member, which includes Hashim Abdul Halim, who had been the speaker for 29 years from 1982 to 2011, after paid flower respect to Basu on the road outside the West Bengal assembly’s entrance.
The drama began soon after the Left legislators, accompanied by former ministers and legislators, arrived at the assembly for the programme.
Assembly marshall Debabrata Majumdar told them that only current members could go in.
The Left representatives protested and there were heated exchanges with Majumdar and other security personnel.
Communist Party of India-Marxist legislator Anisur Rahman demanded a written order.
Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra then called up Speaker Biman Banerjee from his mobile in the full glare of the media.
“Sir, former MLAs, some of whom won their first election in 1971, ex-ministers, many of them old, are standing outside the assembly. Are they criminals or what? All of them have identity cards. But your marshall is obstructing them. Kindly instruct to him to let them in,” Mishra said.
Mishra then told his colleagues that the present members would pay floral tributes at Basu’s portrait and then the former legislators would pay tributes outside the assembly.
Mishra later hit out at the government.
“Today is Basu’s birthday, but his colleagues, some of whom have worked in the assembly with him for decades, were not allowed to go in,” he said.
“This smacks of political vendetta.”