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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

TMC eyes Oppn space, wants front row seat in LS

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 03, 2012
First Published: 23:07 IST(3/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:42 IST(4/10/2012)

Despite parting ways with the UPA, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has still not stopped from pulling its weight around.

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The former ally of the ruling coalition now wants a berth in the coveted first row of Lok Sabha.

The party has also demanded that chairman's post in at least four parliamentary committees for its leaders and a spacious room for the party in Parliament building.

In a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday, Trinamool's parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said since they are the sixth largest party in Lok Sabha, Trinamool deserves these benefits.

"For the last three years, we were neglected on several issues. But now, we want our due. Seat in front row and panel chairman's post is decided on the basis of the party's strength in Parliament," Bandopadhyay told HT.

Banerjee's party currently heads two parliamentary panels. The move to get more chairman posts is an attempt to pressurise the government on its policies and proposed laws.

The Congress, for now, is holding back its fire. Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh recently wrote to his counterpart in Banerjee's government saying the Centre would continue to support programmes in Bengal.

Ramesh, however, took a dig at Banerjee and said, "In spite of the recent political developments and intemperate verbal onslaughts on the central leadership being made from Kolkata the Centre would continue to benefit Bengal."

Ramesh also said the Centre will consider rural road projects worth R3,576 crore for Bengal.

The Trinamool was allotted a room in Parliament's third floor but its occupant, RJD chief Lalu Prasad refused to vacate.

"We have met the Speaker at least 10 times ... Now even the railway minister's office would not be available. We hope she gives us our room," Bandopadhyay said.


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