In case of tie, I would have supported government: Somnath

November 16th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeKolkata, Nov 16 (IANS) Citing constitutional norms, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Sunday said he would have voted for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre in case of a tie during the July trust motion.”As per constitutional guidelines, in case of a tie, the Speaker has to vote in favour of the government. I would also have done so, as per the norms,” Chatterjee said in an interview aired on a Bengali television channel here Sunday.

Chatterjee was expelled from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) following his refusal to resign from the post during the trust motion which was necessitated by the party’s withdrawal of support to the UPA.

“I feel while it is important to abide by the party decision, at the same time we have to keep the national interest in mind. The national interest should be more important than our individual political stand,” he said.

Asked about the civil nuclear deal between India and the US, Chatterjee confessed he did not know much about the issue.

“Whatever I know I don’t think it’s enough to get a clear idea about the subject. I respect the stand of CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat as he was opposed to the agreement. But at the same time, I have immense faith on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he cannot take any step at the cost of our national interest,” he said.

Asked about the future of the deal, he said: “Only the scientists and historians can say this.”

Elected from the Bolpur constituency in West Bengal, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI-M, when he was elected as Speaker in 2004. After the election he had kept away from party activities to uphold the sanctity of his constitutional position.

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