The first signs of a stormy Parliament session came on Thursday when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia differed sharply over her twin demands of imposing President’s rule in West Bengal and a parliamentary debate on the developments in Lalgarh—the scene of an anti-Maoist operation.
Heated exchanges are expected during the session from November 19-December 21 on price rise, unemployment, Maoist violence, spectrum allocation, Madhu Koda, the MNS episode in Maharashtra and strained relations with China.
The Trinamool-Left faceoff is expected to add to it.
Fresh from her victory in the assembly bypolls, Banerjee demanded that Article 356 (for President’s Rule) in West Bengal because of the Left Front’s malgovernance.
But immediately after Banerjee made her wish known, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia thrashed it. “We got a mandate to rule for five years. Because she does not believe in democracy she is asking for it (Article 356). If the West Bengal people support her in the 2011 assembly polls she can form the government,” he told reporters, ruling out early elections.
The Speaker was unfazed. “I’m looking forward to heated discussions and a stormy session. I welcome it. Otherwise it will be boring,’’ she quipped.