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Darjeeling | GJM seeks neutral seats in WB Assembly

GJM president Bimal Gurung with Darjeeling BJP candidate S.S. Ahluwalia
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which took sides with the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha elections, has sought neutral seats for three of its members in the 294-member West Bengal Assembly during the month-long extended Budget session beginning on June six.

“In a letter to me on Tuesday, GJM MLA from Kalimpong Harka Bahadur Chhetri has sought neutral seats for three of their members, even as they earlier preferred to seat in the opposition,” Speaker Biman Banerjee said after an all-party meeting ahead of the session.

“We have to look for neutral seats for them,” he said.

Since the Mamata Banerjee government took over in May 2011, GJM members, who won the three Assembly seats in Darjeeling district, were sitting with the government side.

But sometime back, the party wrote to the Speaker seeking to sit in the Opposition.

The GJM’s change in decision came following BJP wresting power at the Centre. GJM supported BJP nominee S S Ahluwalia has won from Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.

Mr. Banerjee said he also received a letter from Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra informing him about removal of Left front chief whip Abdur Rezzak Mollah.

Mr. Mishra also informed him about appointment of Anisur Rahaman as the new Left Front chief whip replacing Mr. Mollah, who was present in the meeting with the consent of the Speaker.

With this, the House also has to relocate the seat for Mr. Mollah, who had been suspended from the CPI(M).

To a question, the Speaker said, “It is my prerogative to keep Mr. Abdur Rezzak Mollah in any committee of the House. I shall take final decision later on this issue.”

A number of important bills will be placed in the month-long extended Budget session.

Mr. Banerjee said two bills have already been finalised, while 15 more important bills have been kept ready for being placed during the session which would continue till July 10. (PTI)

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