The schedule of the ongoing budget session of the state assembly is such that chief minister Mamata Banerjee can easily avoid fielding or replying to questions from the opposition MLAs during the entire session.
Friday is the date scheduled for the chief minister to come to the House when any session is on to reply to the queries from opposition MLAs.
However, during the current budget session, the schedule has been such that the chief minister can easily avoid the questions unless she decides to attend the House any other day to answer the queries.
The budget session started on February 19, 2015, which was a Friday. However, as per convention the opening day of the budget session is supposed to get adjourned after the governor’s speech, which also happened on February 19 and the chief minister did not have to reply to the questions from the opposition MLAs that day.
On February 27, again another Friday, state finance and excise minister Amit Mitra would be presenting the state budget for financial year 2015-16 and hence the chief minister would not have to answer the opposition questions too, since that day there would not be any questionanswer session.
And the budget session would conclude on March 4, a Wednesday, thus relieving the chief minister from fielding opposition questions throughout the session. Surprisingly, breaking convention, there would be a four-hour assembly session on February 28, the same day the Union finance minister would present the Union budget for 2015- 16.
Opposition MLAs, however, have criticised this entire development as a deliberate ploy so that chief minister can avoid fielding opposition questions.
“The chief minister had been doing this always and this time she also followed the same practice of avoiding the assembly. This government follows no convention or protocol,” said CPI(M) legislator from Garbeta, Sushanta Ghosh.