Agartala: Tripura Assembly on Wednesday witnessed heated debate over the absence of the leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar prompting a walkout by the entire Opposition.
Shortly after question hour, BJP legislator Dilip Das raised the issue of Sarkar's absence in the important Budget Session saying the newcomers could have learnt a lot from the former chief minister who had ruled the state for twenty years.
"Unfortunately, he did not turn up to the House. He entered the Assembly after playing of the national anthem on Tuesday," he said.
Veteran CPM MLA Badal Chowdhury replied, "Manik Sarkar went to Panisagar in Unakoti district where a party leader Tapas Sutradhar was brutally killed by unknown assailants on Monday night."
Before Chowdhury could end his reply, BJP MLA Biswabandhu Sen said the issue had been rightly pointed out by Das. "The Opposition leader entered the House after playing of the national anthem on Wednesday. It shows his intention. Practically, the CPM is anti-national," he alleged.
Chowdhury said, "you people cant wipe out CPM by branding it as anti-national. We are a political party and working for the people. Besides, the Leader of the Opposition is not bound to inform Speaker Rebati Mohan Das as he has gone there for a brief period."
BJP MLA Autul Debbarma said that in the telephone directory prepared by the Assembly secretariat where names and phone numbers were given by all members expect Manik Sarkar.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ratan Lal Nath citing 'precedent of the House said he (Manik Sarkar) should inform the Speaker about his visit to Panisagar or elsewhere leading to a war of words between the two sides.
Former Speaker and CPM member Ramendra Chandra Debnath said there was no such precedent.
"He went to Panisagar to meet the bereaved family in the hours of crisis and the visit is short. If a legislator goes for an entire session, he or she is supposed to inform the Speaker," he said.
But the debate continued and the Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman said that Manik Sarkar did not reveal his family background even if it was irrelevant here triggering anger among the opposition legislators.
At 12.40 pm, angry Opposition members walked out of the House alleging that it was a deliberate attempt to attack Sarkar.
Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 16:15:10 IST