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Trinamool Cong decides to participate in budget discussions

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Jul 4 (UNI) All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), which has been accorded the status of the main Opposition party by Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim on conditional basis yesterday, has agreed to participate in the budget discussions, reverting their earlier stand.

Earlier 29-member AITC legislature party had decided to boycott the budget session of West Bengal Assembly after the Speaker's refusal to grant them the status of the main Opposition party.

Formally announcing the party's decision after holding an AITC legislature party meeting, Opposition leader Partho Chatterjee informed the House this morning that though they would continue to demand for the allocation of 50 per cent time of budget discussions against the Speaker's allocation of 45 per cent, they had decided to participate in the budget discussions to uphold the Parliamentary democracy.

Regarding the Conditional granting of Opposition status to the AITC, Mr Chatterjee said it was very unfortunate as they were the second largest party in the 294-member House. He said the party must win the Bongaon Assembly byelection to increase the number of AITC members to 30 to be permanently eligible to enjoy the status of main Opposition party.

''We took the Speaker's statement with heavy heart and requested him not to be partisan in his approach towards the Opposition,'' Mr Chatterjee told UNI in his chamber.

He said it was very unfortunate that the Speaker had refused to recognise AITC as the main Opposition party in the state, particularly when the party had made enough sacrifices for attaining the present political maturity.

Mr Chatterjee also expressed the party's committment to highlight the failure of the ruling party, both inside and outside the House.

To a querry, Mr Chatterjee also made it clear that party Supremo Mamta Banerjee had no role in today's decision of joining the budget discussions. It was entirely decided by the AITC members, he reaffirmed.

UNI ABA SP SS1322

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