Being Lok Sabha Speaker was a “great opportunity”: Chatterjee

February 26th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, February 26 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Thursday described his five-year tenure in office as a “great opportunity” and revealed that he had never expected to receive the authority as a speaker, but got it.

Speaking about his bad experiences in Parliament, Chatterjee termed July 22, 2008 as the worst day of his term.

He was referring to the cash-for-vote case, when three BJP MPs displayed wads of cash in the Lower House and accused the UPA Government of offering bribes to MPs to win the trust vote.

However, when asked further about the lows in his career, Chatterjee refused to comment saying,” I don’t want to say now. After I actually quit, I will say.”

Defending his headmasterly approach to house sittings, he said, “What is wrong with a headmaster…It is a good profession. Don’t we respect headmasters…what is wrong…how is it derogative?”

The former CPI (M) leader also earned a reputation for upholding the high standards of the legislature.

He said that he hoped his successors would bring more laurels than he did. “Obviously. I hope more than me,” he said.

Somnath Chatterjee was a member of the Communist Party of India CPI (M) from 1968 to 2008.

He became a Member of the Lok Sabha in 1971 and remained the leader of his party in the Lok Sabha from 1989 to 2004.

Following the election, on June 4, 2004 he was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha.

Chatterjee has also won the “Outstanding Parliamentarian Award” in 1996 and has earned much acclaim for signing the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to regularise bilateral exchanges with China. (ANI)

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