Some MLAs just fill attendance to get allowance: Bengal speaker on standing committee meetings

West Bengal Speaker Biman Banerjee expressed displeasure over legislators not attending meetings of the assembly standing committees.

Banerjee, who had earlier criticized the MLAs for not being regular when the House is in session, said he has noticed that some legislators sign the attendance sheet of the standing committee meetings to avail the allowances but do not attend it.

“This is unacceptable… The standing committee meetings are held to discuss and deliberate important issues and policies. But this is not being done. I request all legislators to attend these meetings,” he said on Thursday.

According to the norms of the assembly, a legislator is allotted membership in two committees — a departmental standing committee and a committee of the House.

Reacting to the speaker’s comment, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said it is the opposition BJP MLAs who do not attend such meetings and leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari must look into it.

“Yes, legislators not attending meetings have been an issue. But for the last few sessions, the attendance in the treasury benches and also in the standing committee meetings have improved,” he said.

BJP chief whip Manoj Tigga said most of the MLAs of his party have been regular in attending meetings of the standing committees.

“I am not aware if our MLAs are irregular. But it is good if every MLA regularly attend standing committee meetings,” he added.

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