West Bengal Assembly to discuss extension of BSF's jurisdiction on November 17


KOLKATA: The West Bengal assembly will on November 17 discuss the extension of BSF’s jurisdiction from the international border, TMC chief whip Nirmal Ghosh said on Friday. Speaking to reporters at the assembly, Ghosh said the decision was taken at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier criticised the Centre’s move to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), alleging that it was an attempt to interfere with the federal structure of the country.

The BJP-led central government had amended the BSF Act to authorise the force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a larger 50 km stretch, instead of 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

The state assembly on Friday passed a resolution, carving out Bally Municipality from the Howrah Municipal Corporation area to help people get better civic amenities. Municipal Affairs Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya tabled the proposal as the House proceedings began and TMC’s Bally MLA Rana Chatteejee and Kandi MLA Apurba Sarkar spoke in favour of the resolution.

Bhattacharya said the decision was taken in the interest of the people, so that they do not travel all the way to Howrah for getting their work done. Sixteen wards of Bally Municipality were merged with 50 wards of Howrah Municipal Corporation in 2015.

Following the bifurcation, now the number of wards is likely to be rearranged. Ghosh said that the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill will be tabled in the assembly on November 16. The state cabinet approved the bifurcation in January.

“We want to give better amenities to every citizen, hence this decision was taken. If anyone opposes it, they are doing it for political reasons,” Bhattacharya later told reporters, replying to a question on BJP’s opposition to the move.

Meanwhile, Harischandrapur MLA Tajmul Hussain raised the issue of a skulk of foxes attacking a village in his constituency in the Malda district, injuring around 40 people. As Forest Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick was not present in the House, he urged Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay to draw the minister’s attention.

Kandi MLA Apurba Sarkar flagged the issue of delay in the construction of Ranagram bridge in Murshidabad district, stating that it is causing immense hardship to the people. No BJP MLA was present in the House on Friday.

The assembly was adjourned till November 15.