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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

No room for Didi’s whims after TMC exit from UPA

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 16, 2012
First Published: 00:08 IST(16/11/2012) | Last Updated: 02:44 IST(16/11/2012)

After losing its political clout in the capital, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is likely to face rejection to get a prime space in the Parliament building.

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Soon after its withdrawal of support from the UPA in September this year, the party had requested Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for a front row seat in the

Lower House and a big office space in the Parliament building on the basis of its strength in the House.

The Lok Sabha secretariat is likely to point out that a room (125(II) on third floor) was allotted to the party in May 2010. Trinamool didn’t take the possession of the 33.84 square metre room and instead asked for room number 129 (46 sq.m) on the same floor citing the need for a larger space to host its 28 parliamentarians.

The party’s demand for a first row seat is also unlikely to be conceded anytime soon. The Lok Sabha secretariat is likely to seek further clarification.

“They may have officially withdrawn its support by giving letter to the President. But for changing seats, the party must inform us officially if they want to be counted as the opposition,” Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan told HT.

Banerjee’s party, keen to grab the prime opposition space, wants a front row seat. “It looks as if they are eyeing CPI(M)’s Basudeb Acharia seat. But Acharya got it as the leader of the Left Bloc that comprises four Left parties with 24 MPs, which is more than the Trinamool’s strength,” said a UPA leader.

“We deserve the seat as well as a better room. If these are not given to us, it will be a great injustice,” Trinamool leader Saugata Roy said.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad, with just 4 MPs, has a front row seat in Lok Sabha but that was allotted to him from the quota of the Congress.

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