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Somnath gets accolades on birthday

July 25, 2008 18:05 IST

Rarely on any of his birthdays has Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee [Images] received so many accolades for upholding the Constitution of the country, like he did on Friday on his 79th birthday. A deluge of people ranging from Parliamentarians to commoners trooped down to his Akbar Road residence to congratulate him for his "sacrifice" of party politics and honouring the Constitution.

"He is an inspiration to all youth of the country. Only a person of his stature can lead by example to show how the Constitution is to be revered even in the face of petty party politics. We would like him to continue as the Speaker and our teacher," said first-time member of Parliament from the Congress, Navin Jindal.

Another first-timer, Jitin Prasada, an MP from Shahjahanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, described the Speaker as "his leader" and not just any "party leader".

"This is my first term as a member of the House and he has always encouraged young people like us in Parliament. His supportive nature has helped us greatly to carry out House proceedings. I conveyed to him my good wishes for his birthday and told him that his sacrifice has deeply moved me," said Prasada after meeting the Speaker.

Among the odd visitors outside his residence were also a group of Sikh holy men chanting their support for the Speaker and terming him "a sachha nirankari" and a "sher dil

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