The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has been at loggerheads with the Modi government over demonetisation and the arrest of its two MPs by CBI in connection with alleged chitfund scam.

New Delhi/Kolkata : Angry over the arrest of its two MPs and protesting demonetistion, Trinamool Congress, on Monday, skipped two all-party meetings and decided to stay away from Parliament today and on Wednesday during the President’s address and presentation of the Budget.

The party, which has 46 MPs in both Houses of Parliament, also decided to raise the issue of the “illegal arrest” of its Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay and another MP Tapas Pal, alleging it “is a clear case of political vendetta by the ruling party at the centre by misusing CBI and abusing its power”.

Trinamool skipped the all-party meetings called by the government and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan yestreday in the national capital, citing the meeting of its Parliamentary Party, convened by its chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata this morning, as the reason.

“Trinamool MPs will not be present in Parliament on the first two days of the Budget session in protest against demonetisation which was implemented without taking Parliament into confidence,” TMC’s Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Kalyan Banerjee told reporters after the parliamentary party meeting.

On the opening day of the Budget session today, President Pranab Mukherjee will address the joint sitting of the two Houses. The next day, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Budget for 2017-18.

Earlier, party leader and MP Derek O’Brien said Trinamool will not attend Parliament on February 1 because of Saraswati Puja “which is a big day in Bengal”.

He said that on Saraswati Puja, there is a custom of keeping away from work and not even touching the tools. “Saraswati Puja is beyond a religious festival. It is a socio-cultural festival of Bengal,” he told PTI.

Asked whether the party was “boycotting” these proceedings or just skipping, he replied, “It is open for your interpretation”.

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has been at the loggerheads with the Modi government over the issue of demonetisation and the arrest of its two MPs by CBI in connection with alleged chitfund scam.

Kalyan Banerjee said the party will raise in Parliament the issue of “illegal arrest” of Bandopadhyay and Pal. The two MPs were arrested by CBI in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam.

To a question, Banerjee said Bandopadhyay will continue to be their party leader in the Lok Sabha. “He is our leader and will continue to be our leader,” he said.

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