Congress boycots all-party meeting

Kolkata: The Congress today boycotted an all-party meeting in the state assembly, accusing the ruling TMC of not giving enough importance to the Opposition.

This comes close on the heels of the Trinamool Congress extending support to the Congress for the Rajya Sabha polls.

The Left Front also boycotted the all-party meeting.

“Why would we go to the all-party meeting when we are not given enough importance in the House?” the Leader of the Opposition, Congress’s Abdul Manan asked.

To a question on the Congress seeking the TMC’s support for the Rajya Sabha polls on the one hand and boycotting the all party-meeting on the other, Manan said: “The two are not related. They are separate issues. In the assembly, we are there to speak for the people. So if we are not allowed to speak, then why should we join the all-party meeting?”

TMC secretary general and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “They (Congress) need to do something to stay in the news, so they boycotted the all-party meeting. It is for them to decide.”

“We supported the Congress in the Rajya Sabha as a part of our fight against the BJP. So at the state level, who came to attend the meeting is not a matter of concern for us,” he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had extended her party’s support to Congress candidate Pradip Bhattacharya for the Rajya Sabha polls. Bhattacharya was elected unopposed on July 31.