Two days after a ruling BJP MLA of Tripura joined the Trinamool Congress, the Biplab Kumar Deb government decided to change the rule that allowed lawmakers to enjoy certain facilities, including allowances for the rest of their lives even if they remain so for just one day.
As per the proposed new rule, legislators will need to complete one full term to be entitled to such benefits, Information and Culture Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said today.
The “positive” decision was taken by the council of ministers on Tuesday, he said.
Ashish Das, BJP MLA of Surma (SC) constituency in Dhalai district, joined the Trinamool on Sunday at a rally of party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Agartala. He did not resign as a legislator.
The previous Left Front administration had enacted a rule that all facilities and financial benefits would be given to a legislator who served at least four years in office.
After coming to power in 2018, the BJP-IPFT government hiked allowances of legislators and also said each and every legislator could enjoy their pension and other financial benefits even if they remain an MLA for a single day.
“We believe in the accountability and integrity of the legislators. They would be more accountable after this decision,” Mr Chowdhury told reporters.
Though Mr Das formally joined the Trinamool on October 31, he had slammed Chief Minister Deb over his style of functioning and criticised the activities of the BJP during his visit to Kolkata on October 5.
He had also praised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and shaved his head at the famous Kalighat temple, located close to the residence of the Trinamool supremo, as an act of “atonement” for being associated with “a communal party”.
Kalyani Roy, the government chief whip of Tripura assembly, had on October 27 written to Speaker Ratan Chakraborty demanding disqualification of Mr Das as an MLA for “anti-party activities”.
Mr Chakraborty served a notice on Mr Das the next day seeking to know why action should not be taken against him under the anti-defection law. A reply was sought within seven days, an Assembly official said.
“If the reply does not come within the stipulated time, he would be asked to appear physically, and action might also be initiated against him,” the Speaker said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)