LF walks out of all-party meet to discuss hooch deaths

Posted By: Pti
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Hooch tragedy
Kolkata, Dec 19: Opposition Left Front today (Dec 19) walked out of an all-party meeting held to discuss the recent hooch tragedy that claimed 173 lives in protest against alleged irresponsible remarks by the state Parliamentary Affairs minister blaming the CPI(M) for the deaths.

LF sources said that all their members walked out of the meeting, convened by West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, after the minister, Partha Chatterjee, refused to withdraw his remarks blaming the CPI(M) for the casualties at Sangrampur and surrounding areas in South 24-Parganas district.

Chatterjee had claimed that toxic materials were deliberately mixed in the brew that led to the unusually high death toll since last Tuesday.

The sources said that the leader of the Opposition, Suryakanta Mishra, urged Chatterjee to withdraw his remark at the start of the all-party meeting .

''When the minister refused to oblige, Mishra argued that since the government had singled out CPI(M) for the deaths, there was no justification for inviting the CPI(M) to the all-party meet,'' the sources said.

It was at the instance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the all-party meeting was called by the Speaker to discuss the hooch deaths and take steps to check its recurrence in the state.

The chief minister, however, was not present as she was bereaved by her mother's death on Saturday.

Earlier, when the House assembled for the day, senior CPI(M) leader Abdur Rezzak Molla requested the Speaker to ask Chatterjee to come to the House and admit his mistake in making such a statement.

The left front members walked out when Chatterjee refused withdraw his remark.


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