No cause for delay, matter should be resolved now, says BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari
West Bengal Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee on Friday held a hearing on the disqualification of Mukul Roy as an MLA under the anti-defection law.
The demand was raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the first hearing was held during the day in the State Assembly. Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari had raised the issue of Mr. Roy’s disqualification after he joined the Trinamool Congress on June 11, nearly a month after being elected to the Assembly on a BJP ticket. Mr. Adhikari had submitted documents running over 68 pages to the Speaker, seeking action against Mr. Roy. The next hearing is set for July 30.
Meanwhile, on July 9, Mr. Roy was appointed Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Assembly. Nearly half a dozen of BJP legislators have resigned from the post of Chairperson of several Assembly committees in protest against the appointment of Mr. Roy as the PAC’s Chairperson.
“I had approached the Speaker several weeks ago, seeking the disqualification of Mukul Roy and accordingly, the hearing was done today. The evidence available in the public domain, including his [Mukul Roy’s] verified Twitter account and the support of Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislators for the post of the PAC Chairperson is enough. I do not think that any more delay should be done and the matter should be resolved now,” Mr. Adhikari told journalists later in the day.
Citing the instance of a legislator from the Left parties, Dipali Biswas, in whose case 23 hearings were held after the Left parties sought her disqualification under the anti-defection law in the last Assembly, the Leader of the Opposition said that he had little faith in the ongoing process. “We will approach the court on the issue,” he said.
Mr. Roy had contested Assembly polls from the Krishnanagar Uttar Assembly seat in Nadia on a BJP ticket, and he won the poll by a margin of nearly 35,000 votes. Both Mr. Roy and his son Subhranghshu Roy had joined the TMC on June 9 in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after being associated with the BJP for over three-and-a-half years.
Neither Mr. Roy nor the Trinamool Congress reacted to the developments on Friday.
The State’s ruling party, however, has pointed out that two of its MPs — Sisir Adhikari and Sunil Mondal — joined the BJP before the Assembly polls without resigning from the Lok Sabha. TMC leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Banerjee has approached Speaker Om Birla on the disqualification of the two MPs. Sisir Adhikari, the MP from Kanthi, is a veteran politician and father of Mr. Suvendu Adhikari.
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