When the Telugu Desam Party MPs left their parliamentary office of 30 years for lunch on Tuesday, they never thought that they would return to see their office occupied by the Trinamool Congress.
TDP MPs removing a nameplate of AITMC from Room No. 5 in Parliament in New Delhi. MPs of Trinamool Congress and TDP were engaged in a scuffle in Parliament over the office space. (PTI Photo)
On Tuesday, the incident led to an ugly spat erupting between Chandrababu Naidu's party and Trinamool.
"This is an uncultured act. We have been in this room for last 30 years. The Trinamool's attitude was rowdy," said TDP leader YS Chowdhury. TDP's name plate too, was quickly replaced with a Trinamool plaque.
The root of the controversy lies in the new allotment of office space for different parties in Parliament building. Trinamool was allotted room number 5 on the ground floor, currently held by the TDP.
The Telugu party was asked to shift to room 135, occupied by the CPI(M).
However, both CPI(M) and the TDP are in no mood to vacate their rooms.
Sudip Bandopadhyay, Trinamool's Lok Sabha chief, told HT, "Lok Sabha secretariat allotted this room and sent a letter asking us to occupy it at the earliest."
Bandopadhyay told HT that they are happy with the allotment. Chowdhury told HT, "No way, we will leave this room."
During the brief period when Trinamool leaders sat in the room, some TDP staff continued to work in the other part.
Bandopadhyay maintained they are "friends" with the TDP MPs even as the other side reportedly told TV channels, "People of West Bengal are suffering because of this high handedness."
Office rooms are allotted on the basis of the strength of different political parties. Refusal to vacate spacious rooms, however, is quite common.
In the last Lok Sabha, RJD was reduced to just four MPs but they didn't leave their big office which was allotted when it had 22 Lok Sabha members.