Nandigram cannot be discussed in Parliament: Left

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New Delhi Nov 15: The Left Parties today asserted that the Nandigram issue ''cannot be taken up in Parliament since it is essentially a state subject and the Constitution norms do not permit discussion on the floor of the House.''

Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal gave a ruling to this effect when the subject was raised by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani after the March 14 incident in Nandigram, Left leaders told a press conference shortly after the first day of Parliament's Winter session.

CPI(M) Floor leaders-- Sitaram Yechury and Basudeb Acharia-- and CPI Parliamentary leader Gurudas Dasgupta said even the Lok Sabha Speaker did not have this prerogative to allow a discussion as law and order was a state subject. Besides, the West Bengal assembly had already discussed the subject, they added.

The Left's statement is in contrast to the BJP's viewpoint as its Floor leader in the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra had demanded that the issue be taken up on priority basis and had threatened that they would not allow the House to function if it was not permitted.

To a poser that the Nandigram violence exposed the ''democratic face'' of the CPI (M), Mr Yechury said Nandigram is essentially a state subject which could not be raised on the floor of the House.

Asked how the Left justified its demand for discussion on Gujarat carnage when it was related to the state, he said: ''Violence by Naxalites as well as Maoists was not a state subject as it cut across several states, affecting as many as 165 districts of the country.'' Even Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh has described the Maoists violence as the biggest threat to internal security,'' he asserted.

On their demand for raising the Tehelka expose on Gujarat massacre on the floor of the House, the Left leaders said: ''This is a Constitutional norm. Only four subjects relating to a state can be taken up-- communalism, attack on minorities, Dalits and women.

Please remember that after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, all the BJP-run four states were dismissed.'' Mr Dasgupta said: ''Parliament business is transacted on certain procedures, rules and norms. Nandigram is not India, it is not the one issue before the nation.'' Mr Yechury said the BJP seemed to be in a ''fighting mood'' and was determined to raise the issue. ''But we should not forget that it is a short session with only 13 business days.'' Mr Dasgupta claimed the BJP was always in search of an issue on the basis of which it would ''disrupt the proceedings of the House''.

Last time it was their (BJP) demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal. This time they want to take up the Nandigram issue, he said.

The Left leaders emphasised that Parliament should not be denigrated this way and blamed both the Congress and the BJP for ''systematically working towards dilution of the institution''.


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