West Bengal speaker falls ill after house row

July 30th, 2010 - 12:56 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 29 (IANS) West Bengal Assembly Speaker H.A. Halim suffered from breathlessness and had to be administered oxygen in the house Thursday after agitated Trinamool Congress members blocked his way while he was going to his chamber.
Halim, who regularly needs oxygen support following his recent indisposition in Singapore, suffered from a bout of palpitation and breathlessness, said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) lawmaker Rabin Mondal.

However, the septuagenarian speaker recovered after some time.

Trouble started in the house after Trinamool Congress members objected to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s absence while they were moving a motion against the government’s “all-round failure”.

Leader of the Opposition Partha Chattopadhyay said the motion would not be moved unless the chief minister was present.

Halim told Chattopadhyay that it was not mandatory for the chief minister to be present during the debate and the parliamentary affairs minister would reply.

However, this failed to satisfy the Trinamool lawmakers who started shouting slogans and trooped towards the speaker’s podium.

As the bedlam continued, the speaker adjourned the house for the day.

However, the Trinamool members surrounded Halim and some of them even threw themselves on to the ground to prevent him from going to his chamber.

The assembly staff rushed in and Trinamool lawmaker Arup Biswas was bodily removed to clear the way for Halim, who however fell sick soon after returning to the chamber.

A doctor was called in, and the speaker was administered oxygen and his ECG was monitored.

The Trinamool members held a demonstration near the speaker’s chamber but dispersed after ten minutes.

The speaker later described the incident as unprecedented.

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