Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Wednesday earned the wrath of Speaker Meira Kumar, getting reprimanded for his 'quite unbecoming' behaviour in the first such strong rebuke in the current Lok Sabha.
Noting that Bandopadhyay used certain words while reacting to some observations by Communist Party of India - Marxist leader Basudeb Acharia in the House, the Speaker said, "Those words and the manner in which they were said were quite unbecoming of a member of the House."
"I disapprove of such conduct. I hope no member of the House will again give an occasion for the Chair to make such an observation," said Kumar. The Speaker's reprimand, however, failed to satisfy Acharia and his Left colleagues, who stormed the well, demanding nothing short of an unconditional apology.
On Tuesday, an impromptu debate in the Lok Sabha on the issue of motormen's strike was capped by a clash between Trinamool and Left members, after Bandopadhyay apparently hurled some expletives at Acharia. Bharatiya Janata Party members joined the Left on the issue and demanded that the Trinamool leader tender an unconditional apology for the "misdemeanour which he showed".
?I think that with whatever little experience I have of parliamentary life, such things have never happened and such an insult of the House has never happened," BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said. However, Bandopadhyay appeared unrepentant.
"I need not be taught by anybody as to how to behave in the Parliament," he said, waving a copy of Tuesday's proceedings of the House. "This is the proceeding of yesterday. I am carrying it. If any words in the proceedings can be proven as unparliamentary, I am prepared to apologise," he said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy's assertions that the Speaker had already given her ruling were drowned in the din.
"It is the contempt of the whole House. Therefore, it has to be remedied in the same manner and in a dignified manner," Joshi said. At this point, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sought to cool the tempers, saying, "It is not that sometimes these things do not happen. Tempers run high, sometimes we lose our tempers."
"I myself have on a number of occasions apologised to the House. Therefore, we should not say that it is unprecedented or it has never happened. It is not like that," he said, apparently seeking to counter Joshi. Mukherjee appealed to the members that the matter be treated as settled after the observations of the Speaker.
But still the din continued leading to adjournment of the House.