Bedlam in Bengal assembly over attack on former minister

Kolkata, Dec 11: The West Bengal assembly was plunged into bedlam for the third consecutive day Wednesday as opposition Left Front members protested the assault on a former minister, allegedly by ruling Trinamool Congress activists.

The Trinamool has, however, claimed that its workers had nothing to do with the attack.

Leader of Opposition in the House Surjya Kanta Mishra took up the matter in the mention hour and demanded a statement from the government.

Naren Dey, a minister in the erstwhile Left Front government, has alleged that he was beaten up in the office of his party All India Forward Bloc in the Dhaniakhali area of Hooghly district Sunday.

Mishra, a doctor by training, accused a state-run hospital of issuing a discharge certificate that said Dey had no bone injury, even as the x-ray revealed a hand fracture.

Agitated Left Front members left their seats, raised slogans and moved towards the speaker’s podium, carrying pictures of the bruised face of Dey and condemning Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

However, speaker Biman Banerjee said he could not force any minister to give a statement.

Later, interacting with reporters, Mishra demanded action against the hospital authorities and claimed that Dey even had an eye injury.

“But they constantly pressurised Dey to go home. When he refused, they gave the discharge certificate. There should be a probe into who put pressure on the hospital officials,” he said.

Mishra also alleged that microphones of the opposition members were being switched off whenever they said things which were unpalatable to the government.

He also ridiculed the ministers present in the house for not daring to speak on the issue. “If they cannot give statements or answers, what business do they have to be ministers. They have neither the authority nor the courage to speak in the house,” he said.