Cong, TMC members spar in Lok Sabha


New Delhi: Members of the Congress and TMC today sparred in the Lok Sabha over holding of regular meetings of a coordination committee on district development in West Bengal.

Congress member from Murshidabad Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that there is “no democracy” in West Bengal as no meeting of District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee of Rural Development Ministry have taken place for the past six years.

He claimed that though he heads the panel, his requests to hold the meeting has not be accepted. He said a district collector who once convened the meet was transferred the next day.

When members from the treasury benches started raising slogans against the TMC, members of the ruling party in West Bengal started hooting.

The Congress member raised the issue when Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was responding to supplementaries on open defecation.

Tomar assured Chowdhury that he would write to the West Bengal Chief Minister in this regard. In a lighter vein, he said the Congress member should raise the issue with TMC counterparts in the House.

Tomar informed the House that so far 417 districts and 4,00,820 villages across India have become open defecation free.

He said a study has shown that 93 per cent of toilets constructed are being used and efforts are on to increase awareness among people against defecating in open.

He said a UNICEF report has acknowledged that diarrhoea- related deaths have come down following a drive to check open defecation.