‘You’re working to finish democracy’

  

Driven to despair by unruly Lok Sabha MPs, a visibly angry Lok Sabha speaker — Somnath Chatterjee —  on Thursday (February 28) lashed out at the legislators and accused them of working overtime to finish democracy. 

You are working over time to finish democracy,” a visibly angry Speaker Somnath Chatterjee castigated members in the Lok Sabha. “It is matter of great sorrow that you are not willing to work,” he observed when opposition members stormed the well demanding a loan waiver for farmers leading to adjournment of the House.

Disapproving the members’ action, Chatterjee said “with great sorrow, sadness and resentment, I am forced to adjourn the House”.

As he adjourned the House for an hour as soon as it assembled, Chatterjee directed the officials to send him the names of members disrupting the proceedings. “Let the names be sent to me”.

Despite the Speaker insisting that he had not stopped discussion on any issue, the agitating members remained unrelenting and continued raising slogans against the government.

Incidentally, the only redeeming feature in the Lok Sabha was that the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was allowed to present the Economic Survey 2007-08 in the House proceedings without any disturbance.

Commenting on the hooliganism by the members in the Lok Sabha, Senior Lawyer, Ram Jethmalani said:”This is not a problem of law. There is a law for maintaining good behaviour in the house. The law has to be enforced. It can’t be enforced without the active co-operation of the leading politicians, who have to act as statesmen, but if the politicians become hooligans, there is no solution. The law says that disorderly people should be excluded by force. So, force should be used to stop unruly behaviour.”

Echoing similar sentiment and terming the Speaker’s predicament as understandable, Girish Karnad, Playwright said:”In this country, there are more hooligans in the Parliament than on the streets. After all they are paid people and have responsibility. This kind of behaviour from responsible members of society is depressing. Mr Somnath Chatterjee’s predicament is understandable. Behaviour of the MLA’s is disgusting and unforgivable.”

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