Tripura assembly speaker RC Debnath rejected the claim made by Trinamool Congress (TMC) to the post of leader of opposition (LoP) in the house. ‘Since Trinamool Congress has only six members in the 60-member house and was unable to achieve quorum, their claim was not entertained as per law. As a result, the remaining tenure of the current assembly session does not have an LoP,’ speaker Debnath said.
He added that TMC legislators referred to the Salaries and Allowances of Members of the Legislative Assembly (Tripura) Act passed in 1972 and 2008 for the definition of the LoP. However, the act was restricted to the purpose of determining salaries and allowances and not the LoP status.
Big blow for TMC in Tripura
Debnath informed TMC Tripura State Committtee chairman Ratan Chakraborty that as per rules of conduct of business in the assembly, quorum is the main determinant of appointing an LoP, which in Tripura’s case is 10 MLAs.
‘Different Indian states have different rules and Tripura assembly rules state that unless one-sixth of the house strength is present, a party cannot be offered the position of the LoP,’ Debnath said.
Chakraborty said the speaker’s decision was not justified. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has been intimated of the matter for further course of action.
TMC legislator Sudip Roy Barman said the speaker is violating the Act which defines LoP as the leader of the party with greatest numerical strength in the house.
TMC has the greatest numerical strength among opposition parties in the 60-member Tripura assembly. The Left Front has 50 members while Congress has only three while TMC has six MLAs.