CPI-M, TMC clash in RS over Clinton visit to WB

New Delhi: CPI-M and Trinamool Congress today clashed in the Rajya Sabha over the issue of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visiting West Bengal. Trouble started when CPI-M member Shyamal Chakraborty, while demanding that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore`s birthday be declared a national holiday, said it was "shameful" and "obnoxious" that Clinton has come to West Bengal on such a day and was "interfering" in India`s internal affairs. Tagore was born on May 7, 1861.

Trinamool Congress members including Sukendhu Sekhar Roy strongly objected to the remarks leading to din in the House. Senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury demanded an answer from the government as to how a state government can hold talks with the US Secretary of State. P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, sought to bring order in the House and told Chakraborty that it (Clinton visit) was not the subject of his Zero Hour mention.

In his mention, Chakraborty also said that it was "strange and painful" that Tagore`s birthday has not been declared a national holiday so far. The US has agreed to treat West Bengal as a partner state for investment in the changed political situation. "As per partner state, they will invest in West Bengal which was not taking place due to the political situation in the past," Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata after a 52-minute meeting with Clinton.