Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, May 30, 2011

First day at the Assembly under new government

I went to the Legislative Assembly for the first session of the new government. The only agenda for the day was election of the Speaker.
I went to the Speaker's gallery first but as expected it got crowded so I decided to sit on the first floor to get a full view.
The House, including all the guest galleries, were full. As were the media galleries. The print and electronic media turned up in full strength. I have never seen the galleries so over crowded with most of the people standing. This was quite an unusual scene as far as the Assembly protocol is concerned.
I reached the Assembly around 2:20 pm, the House was scheduled to start at 3 pm. Subrata Mukherjee, wearing a traditional dhoti kurta, was among the first ones to arrive at 2:30 pm. He was followed by others. Amit Mitra, like Subrata, donned a traditional attire, Bratya Basu had a light green kurta on him. Mamata Banerjee came in with Partho Chatterjee just five minutes before 3 pm. Debasree Roy was the last to enter the House with a Sathya Sai Baba book in her hand.
From 2:30 pm till 2:50 pm there were a lot of courtesies and pleasantries exchanged by the members. Subrata Mukherjee went to the opposition benches to meet up with some of the members. This time the benches and the seating arrangements were changed.
The pro tem speaker, Mr Gyan Singh Sohanpal, better known as Chacha, entered at 3 pm sharp.
Mr Biman Bandhopadhyay was selected the new Speaker of the House unopposed. He was escorted to the Speaker's chair by Partho Chatterjee, Manas Bhuiyan and other ministers amid applause and cheers. Mamata did not join the group as she is not an elected member of the Assembly as of now.
Different party leaders delivered speeches and Prabodh Chandra Sinha's address drew the loudest applause. It is good that members like him, who is a well read person, has made it to the Assembly although he lost the last elections.
The newly-elected Speaker drew mild laughs from the crowd when he said Prime Minister instead of Chief Minister. There were murmurs of “hoye jaabay” from the Trinamul Congress camp. Before the House adjourned, the Speaker announced that Governor would give his speech on June 24th 2011 and the elections for the Deputy Speaker would be held on June 27th, 2011.
The visitor's galleries were full of TMC supporters who were commenting about he new developments and the onset of a new era in the state. After the House was adjourned I went to the main hall and met the newly-elected members and ministers.
With Tony and Parambrata
In the evening I went to The Oberoi Grand to attend the function of the launch of Parambrata and Rudraneel's joint venture production firm with Tony (picture).
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