A bitter row has erupted over occupying a room in Parliament with Trinamool Congress members pulling down the nameplates outside the room of Telugu Desam Party and staking claim to it.
The bone of contention is Room No.5 on the first floor, which has been occupied by TDP for many years but was allotted to TMC on August 6 this year.
TDP has been given a room on the third floor of Parliament House. However, the party, which has used Room No.5 "for the last 30 years", was in no mood to vacate it.
Today, TMC members Sudip Bandopadhyay, Kalyan Banerjee and Sultan Ahmed visited the room, pulled down the nameplates of TDP members outside and held a brief meeting inside the room at around 2.30 P.M. TMC has a total of 46 MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
But half-an-hour later, TDP MPs went there and in their presence the nameplates of their party leaders Y S Chowdhary, Thota Narsimhan and CM Ramesh were re-installed there.
Talking to reporters, Chowdhary said they will meet the Speaker over the "uncultured behaviour" of TMC members.
"TMC's uncultured approach has led to this," Chowdhary charged.
Asked about the controversy, TDP Lok Sabha MP Narayana Rao said, "We have been occupying the room for the last 30 years. A few nameplates were removed. It is not democratic."
He said the party has 25 MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha combined and added that while the members should follow the rules set by the Speaker, "removing nameplates is not democratic".
The letter of allotment issued by D S Malha, a Director in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, states that as approved by the competent authority, Room No.5 has been allotted to TMC for the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha. The letter asks TMC to take occupancy of the room and notify the same.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who is TMC's floor leader in Lok Sabha, later said his party's MPs had "peacefully" taken possession of the room.
"No forcible occupation. We did it peacefully. We went there and sat (for a) while as we took possession," he said.
"TMC went to take possession of the room (after) receiving the letter from the Speaker's office," he said.
TDP slammed the TMC MPs' action and termed it "uncultured".
"We have given a letter to Madam Speaker. Shouldn't they wait until she responds? Is this the way? God save West Bengal for having elected such kind of people", TDP MP Y S Chowdary said.
TMC MP Moon Moon Sen defended her party MPs actions. "Dont you think 34 MPs need a room of their own? We can adjust if they seriously need a room for a secret parley," she said.