By A Newsman
Kolkata, 20 March: TO deny opposition councillors grab media attention by raising the issue of Mayor’s alleged involvement in the Narada bribe episode, Trinamool-ruled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) today barred media cameras during the discussion on the civic budget.
According to Congress, and the Left parties, this is for the first time in KMC’s history that media cameras ~ both still and video ~ have been denied entry into the civic body’s meeting hall during a session.
Peeved at this, the opposition councillors resorted to a protest inside the meeting hall as soon as the budget discussion started early today afternoon. Trinamool councillor’s tried to boo off them, resulting in a massive chaos that brought the session to a halt.
Chairperson Mala Roy somehow contained the situation and the discussion resumed. But the discussion did not last very long.
While speaking on the budget, Left ally, RSP councillor Debasish Mukherjee, raised the issue of denying entry to media cameras. He alleged that this had been done to suppress the news on Narada bribe episode that was now being investigated by the CBI. This is because both Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, and deputy mayor Iqbal Ahmed were accused in the case.
As soon Mukherjee raised the issue, Trinamool councillors broke into protest and some of them even rushed near his seat so to stop him speak him on the issue. Notwithstanding the hullaballoo, the RSP councillor stood his ground and went ahead with his speech.
It was then that chairperson Roy disconnected the microphone of Mukherjee and also said that the part of his speech referring to Narada bribe episode had been expunged. This made the Left, Congress, and BJP councillors break into a massive protest, bringing the session to a halt.
Unable to contain the situation, the chairperson adjourned the session after a few minutes. She later told news-persons that the microphone was disconnected as the RSP councillor raised an issue that had nothing to do with the civic budget.
Roy also defended her decision on not allowing media cameras today saying that opposition councillors tend to become hyperactive when there are media cameras around and this disrupts the session. Hence, she had decided to not allow cameras inside the meeting hall.
During the tabling of the civic budget by Mayor Chatterjee on 18 March, the opposition councillors had created massive ruckus demanding his resignation for alleged involvement in Narada episode. Trinamool and opposition councillors had come to near blows during this and the entire scene was telecast by TV channels.