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LS speaker snubs Mamta
August 05, 2005 12:14 IST
Last Updated: August 05, 2005 12:41 IST
In yet another snub to mercurial Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Saturday rejected the 'grossly defematory insinuations' made against him about taking decisions on political grounds.
"I wish to repudiate categorically and with all the authority of the Chair and with all sincerity the reprehensible insinuation that my decision was prompted by political considerations," Chatterjee said in a statement in the House as it assembled for the day.
The speaker made the statement regretting that 'somewhat one-sided report has been given in some quarters raising questions about the impartiality of the chair in dealing with the issue desired to be raised by one honourable member'.
Chatterjee's action came a day after the fiesty Trinamool Congress leader touched a parliamentary low when she flung a bunch of papers at Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and, in a jiffy, submitted her resignation, which was rejected on the ground that it was not in a proper form.
Banerjee, who represents south Kolkata, was not present in the House when the Speaker read out the statement.
She had accused Chatterjee of disallowing her from raising the issue of illegal migration of Bangladeshis into West Bengal because of his political affiliations.
Justifying his decision, the speaker said that it was only on July 26 that an adjournment motion on the issue of infiltration of foreigners into India, including infiltration from Bangladesh, was admitted by him and there had been a a 'full and comprehensive discussion' on the matter.
"The concerned honourable member did not choose to take part in the debate, nor, so far as I have been informed, was even present in the House. The same matter cannot be raised twice in one session of the House as clearly provided by the rules," he observed.
Declaring that 'rules will have to prevail at all times and for all', Chatterjee said just because one member was not present during the discussion 'does not justify trying to raise a similar issue within a week or at all during the session'.
Noting that the reason for rejecting her demand could have been ascertained from the chair, the speaker however regretted that 'nobody met me or tried to know the reasons of my refusal to admit the similar motion'.
Observing that he had been repeatedly and sincerely appealing to members to see that the prestige and dignity of the House was maintained and enhanced, he said, "However, I shall be failing in my duty if I do not record my total rejection of the grossly defamatory insinuation made against me about taking decisions on political grounds."
He said the prestige and dignity of the House could be maintained and enhanced by conducting the proceedings in a manner which 'justified the responsibility imposed on us by the people of this great country'.
Chatterjee appealed to the members 'not to do or say anything, which will in any way compromise with the dignity of the House and belie the expectations of the people'.
A former Union minister and a member for over 20 years continuously, Banerjee stunned the House on Thursday when she walked across from her seat to the speaker's podium and threw the papers at Chatwal, forcing him to adjourn the House.
The Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party have sought an unconditional apology from her on her behaviour.