TMC to give parliament a miss; Saraswati Puja or Rose valley, which is to blame?

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Trinamool Congress will not be present in the parliament on February 1 when the budget is to present, MP Derek O’Brien told the media on Monday. O’Brien cited Saraswati Puja as the reason for the absenteeism in the house on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters, O’Brien said that Saraswati Puja was a beyond a religious festival in West Bengal. He added that it was a socio-cultural festival and there was a custom to keep away from work on the day of the puja.

When asked about missing the all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday evening, for the presentation of the budget, O’Brien said that Mamata Banerjee had attended the meet some 10 days ago. On being asked if the TMC was just skipping these proceedings or ‘boycotting’ O’Brien said that it was left to the public interpretation.

It must be noted that the TMC is upset over the arrest of two of its MPs in the Rose Valley Group chit fund scam by the CBI, which it has accused the Central government of planning. The Central Bureau of Investigation had earlier arrested the controversial Sudip Bandopadhyay and Tapas Pal in relation to the chit fund scam and the TMC hasn’t been shy expressing their displeasure over it. Earlier, TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had protested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive. She had also accused the central government of conducting a military coup in West Bengal. It was later found out that the army deployment in the state was a mere routine and had the required permission of the administration.